Also provides initial guidance on transition to the Affordable Connectivity Program

On November 26, 2021, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order containing guidance for participating service providers regarding the transition from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). As explained in our November 22, 2021, e-Lert, the EBBP will end on December 31, 2021. After a 60-day transition, the monthly benefit amount will be reduced from up to $50 to up to $30. Households located on Tribal lands will continue to receive up to $75 per month.

As the FCC transitions to the ACP, the FCC is waiving several the EBBP end-of-program requirements. USAC will no longer provide a 60-day notice to participating service providers that the EBBP is ending and that new enrollments would freeze. As well, participating service providers will not send the 15-day and 30-day end-of-program notices to their EBBP subscribers.

In addition, the FCC provided preliminary guidance concerning the end of enrollments for the EBBP, the 60-day transition period, and start of the ACP:

  • USAC will set a date to pause enrollments of EBBP before allowing enrollments in ACP;
  • Non-tribal households fully enrolled in the EBBP before the pause will have an automatic 60-day transition period during which they will continue to receive the monthly benefit up to $50; and
  • Non-tribal households that enroll in the new ACP on or after December 31, 2021, will receive a monthly benefit of up to $30 per month.

Finally, the FCC reminded parties of its seeking comments on the final rules and administration of the ACP. Initial comments are due December 8 and reply comments are due December 28.

If you have any questions about these waivers and the transition to the ACP, please contact contact Liz Kayser at 512-338-0473 or Lans Chase at 770-569-2105.