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FCC makes final push for extension of Affordable Connectivity Program

In Puerto Rico, more than 600,000 families will be affected by the end of the program.

In a letter to Congress sent this week, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the urgency of providing additional funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) before funding is officially exhausted by the end of May, and participating households can no longer receive any ACP benefit. 

The FCC had already announced that April would be the last month households could receive an applicable $30 discount, and in May certain households could continue to receive a discount of up to $14 if their provider opted into offering a partial discount during the final month of the program. 

Rosenworcel’s letter highlighted that the end of the ACP would have broad consequences nationwide, and how its end could impact other broadband deployment efforts that the federal government has heavily invested in, like the Commerce Department’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. 

“The [FCC] stands ready to work with Congress to help prevent the [more than 23 million] households enrolled nationwide from experiencing a lapse in their internet service coverage,” the agency’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau said in a statement released with the letter.

In Puerto Rico, where more than 600,000 families will be affected by the end of the program, carriers Claro de Puerto Rico and T-Mobile Puerto Rico have been sending their customers information about available alternatives to cover the monthly expense.

The Lifeline program offers a combined credit of up to $10 on monthly bills, which can be applied to a single residential fixed line or individual mobile service per family.

Claro is offering fixed residential internet access for $30 a month, and several mobile broadband options that range from $22 to $29 a month. A third option, internet on the go, which offers 30 gigabytes a month for $20.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile is offering to cover the discount offered to its Metro by T-Mobile customers through June, and then offers a monthly $15 discount on the client’s ACP line through August. 

Giovanna Ramírez de Arellano, senior director of communications and corporate responsibility at Liberty Communications said the carrier is participating in the ACP in May with the program’s remaining funds.

“This gives our customers who subscribed through the ACP program an additional month with a partial discount as we help them transition to other affordable service offerings,” she said.

The bundle offers that Liberty currently have available for existing ACP customers are 40Mb internet for $29.99 and an internet and VoIP telephony bundle for $34.99. The provider has increased internet speeds for both offers from 25Mb to 40Mb.

These same bundles are available for customers subscribed through the Lifeline program, which offers a subsidy of $9.25.

“This means that customers with the single internet offer would pay $20.74 on their internet bill, while those with the internet and voice bundle would pay $25.74 if they benefit from the Lifeline program,” she said.

“ACP customers also have the option of moving to any other available service plans. We have already notified all our ACP customers and we are ready to help them find the best option to fill their needs,” Ramírez de Arellano said.

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  1. Esther Mendoza May 3, 2024

    I. Have. At&T. An. I. Have. To. See. How I. Can keep. My. Wifi. We. Are. On. Social security.

  2. Hector Aleman May 18, 2024

    I’m a senior citizen and i applied for the 10
    credit. Still waiting to see it on my bill.


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