How Long Will Affordable Connectivity Program Last?

At last, the inevitable happened. The Affordable Connectivity Program, a lifeline for millions of low-income households, is finally coming to an end. For the last 3 years, ACP has been at the forefront of the digital revolution, providing affordable internet service to those hailing from weaker economic segments. While the initial projections predicted the program was supposed to last until 2026-2028, there have been growing concerns in recent months – How Long Will the Affordable Connectivity Program Last?

We have the answer – The program is predicted to conclude at the end of April 2024. But to understand the reasons and potential impacts, we must take a look at its history, evolution, and funding. Follow along as we discuss the topic in detail. In the end, I will also give you the alternatives to keep your benefits alive beyond ACP’s termination. 

Why is the Affordable Connectivity Program Ending?

So why did the government opt to slash ACP, a successful initiative benefiting more than 20 million American households? Well, the decision is all about dollars and cents. Unfortunately, the primary Affordable Connectivity Program funding is anticipated to come to an end very soon, resulting in the discontinuation of the program.  

On January 11, 2024, the Federal Communication Commission, through a press release announced that it had started the process of shutting down ACP, citing a shortage of funds. 

FCC further clarified that unless Congress decides to allocate additional funding to the program, it is expected to last only by the end of Spring, meaning somewhere around April month. As a result, ACP stopped accepting new registrations from February 8, 2024, onwards, however, those enrolled before this date will continue to receive benefits until the program lasts. 

It’s important to note that these are merely projections, as Congress still hasn’t decided the fate of the Affordable Connectivity Program yet. There is still a chance that additional funding will be provided, but until the decision has been made, new registrations will be on hold. However, given the current unstable economic environment, it seems highly unlikely. 

How Long Will the Affordable Connectivity Program Last?

In January 2024, the chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel notified Congress that, due to the lack of funds, the agency would start halting new Affordable Connectivity Program registrations beginning February 8th, 2024. Unfortunately, the generous $14 billion initial investment is anticipated to be depleted soon, forcing the FCC to take steps to wind down the historical program. 

While there is no official decision on additional funding and potential revival of the Affordable Connectivity Program by the US Congress yet, we expect it to last till the end of April month. 

As stated on the FCC’s official website:</span>

“The Affordable Connectivity Program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 7, 2024. The last fully funded month of the program is April 2024.”

What Happened So Far With The ACP?

Let’s look at the timeline of the Affordable Connectivity Program so far:

  • December 2020 – To support low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Consolidated Appropriations Act started the Emergency Broadband Benefits program with an initial funding of $3.2 billion. 
  • November 2021 – To provide long-term support to struggling families, the US Congress initiated the Affordable Connectivity Program with a massive $14 billion investment, replacing EBB. Each qualified household received a $30 discount on monthly voice and data services. ($75 in tribal lands).
  • March 2022 – The transition from EBB to ACP concludes. 
  • August 2023 – Several financial reports suggested that the Affordable Connectivity Program will run out of funds by mid-2024. 
  • January 2024 – FCC announced the potential termination of ACP by the end of 2024, due to lack of funds. 
  • February 2024 – FCC stopped accepting new ACP registrations. 
  • April 2024 – As of the last FCC notification, it will be the last fully funded month for the ACP.  

What Happens to the Affordable Connectivity Program Benefits?

Naturally, as the program’s fate is nearly sealed, the benefits will disappear eventually. However, the beneficiaries will continue to get discounts until the ACP fund runs out completely. Although there is a slight possibility that selected customers may still receive partial discounts in May 2024 as well, but, to be honest, it largely depends on your provider. 

If you are an ACP member, you have likely received a notice from your service provider regarding ACP’s shutdown and its potential impact on your monthly broadband expenses. If not, you should expect one soon stating the following:

  • The confirmation that the ACP is ending.
  • The billing date when you will receive your last ACP benefit.
  • What is the impact on your monthly broadband expenses?
  • Whether the provider is offering an alternate discount or terminating the service following the ACP shutdown. 

Some providers will automatically put eligible consumers under the Lifeline program once the ACP expires and, offer the benefits as applicable in their state. In most cases, if you have enrolled in the ACP+Lifeline combo, you will likely continue receiving benefits beyond April 2024. Ultimately, the decision stays with your provider. 

To know more about this, you can reach out to your provider or the Affordable Connectivity Program phone number: +1 (888) 225-5322.

What Are The Options For Consumers?

With the future of ACP remaining uncertain, there is not much you can do about your current benefits. As it seems now, the program will end in April, so will your discounts. However, the good news is that you will not have to return your free/discounted smartphone or tablet that you received via ACP. But what about the monthly discount?

A viable option for you is Lifeline Internet, another FCC-administered support program for low-income households. Although the benefits are not as lucrative as the Affordable Connectivity Program, you are sure to receive them for a long long time. 

  • A monthly discount of up to $9.25 on your monthly voice, data, or bundled service. 
  • Eligible customers can get a free or discounted smartphone.
  • A monthly discount of up to $34.25 for eligible subscribers in Tribal Land. 
  • Only one Lifeline discount is allowed per household. 
  • The annual household income must be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guideline applicable in your state. 

To get more information about Lifeline, contact your provider or give a call at 1-888-225-5322


1. Is the Affordable Connectivity Program permanent?

No, the Affordable Connectivity Program is not permanent and is expected to conclude by the end of April 2024 due to the shortage of funds. However, the final decision rests with the US Congress.  

2. Can I still apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

No. The FCC has stopped accepting new ACP enrollments since February 8, 2024. 

3. What are the Affordable Connectivity Program qualifications?

Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility is decided by your financial status. Any household with income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines qualifies for the program. 

4. Where can I download the Affordable Connectivity Program application form?

Regrettably, the ACP has halted the new registration, as the program is projected to run out of funds by April 2024. 

5. What will happen to my Xfinity Affordable Connectivity Program?

If ACP goes down under, you will stop receiving ACP benefits from Xfinity. For more information, call 1-800-934-6489 or visit

Concluding Remarks

As of March 2024, nearly 22 million American households are receiving subsidies through the Affordable Connectivity Program, which includes free/discounted smartphones and tablets. As experts see no hope for the revival of ACP, there is a big question mark over the fate of low-income households and businesses depending on these significant discounts. It’s also a big blow to social and digital equality among various American demographics, which once was the sole purpose of initiating the program in the first place.

Many private and non-profit organizations urging the United States Congress to take action to bring ACP back, but, is it feasible in the current economic scenarios? We eagerly wait for the government’s decision. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *