FCC Announces End to Affordable Connectivity Program

FCC Announces End to Affordable Connectivity Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a public notice announcing that the last fully funded month of the ACP is April 2024, which triggers provider notification responsibilities. Additionally, the FCC stated that unless Congress provides additional funding, the program can only partially reimburse May 2024. As a result, ACP service providers have the option to claim and pass on that partial reimbursement amount to enrolled households.

Service Provider Outreach Responsibilities

As the ACP Wind-Down Order outlines, service providers must send the required second and third outreach notices. Providers must send the second outreach notice by March 19, 2024, and the third notice must coincide with the last bill or billing cycle in which the full ACP benefit is applied.

Providers intending to claim and pass through a partial benefit to ACP households in May 2024 must provide written notice to those households. This notice should inform households that the benefit amount applied to the May bill may be less than the full ACP benefit previously received. It should also state that the household will be subject to the provider’s fully undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions after the last bill with any partial benefit. Providers may include this information in the required notices above or send it separately.

It’s important to note that providers must send these notices to ACP households in writing and in a format accessible to persons with disabilities. Providers are encouraged to send the required consumer notices in a format and language consistent with any consumer-expressed preferences.

Providers are not limited in the number of notices they can send to ACP households and are encouraged to correspond more frequently if they believe it is necessary or beneficial.

Low-Cost Offerings

The FCC strongly urges providers to include information about their lower-cost offerings and low-income programs or provide a phone number or link to a website where ACP households can obtain such information. 

Partial Reimbursements

Due to insufficient funds, the FCC will reimburse providers for May 2024 on a reduced pro-rata basis. Providers opting to provide a benefit in May should plan to pass through only a reduced benefit to households that have opted-in to continue receiving broadband service. In March, the FCC will provide more information on reimbursement rates for May 2024, along with guidance on notifying USAC of partial reimbursement intentions.

If you have any questions or need notice templates, contact Lans Chase or Dounia Chikhoune.