FCC Establishes Rules for Affordable Connectivity Program

On January 21, 2022, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopting its final regulations for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which helps ensure that households can afford broadband for school, work, healthcare, and other needs. Congress authorized $14.2 billion for the ACP under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which is expected to last several years.

The FCC’s new ACP regulations build on the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP), which terminated on December 31, 2021, the same day the ACP began. Providers currently operate under the holdover EBBP regulations and FCC directives until the new ACP regulations become effective. Some ACP rules become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and some become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

JSI encourages current ACP providers and those companies interested in becoming ACP providers to fully understand these regulations since key EBBP provisions have changed, such as how to solicit and enroll customers and how to comply with the new reporting and certification requirements.

The FCC is also seeking comment on additional items related to ACP, including an outreach grant program, a federal public housing pilot program, and a mechanism where subscribers in high-cost areas may receive an ACP benefit between $30 per month and $75 per month. Comments on these items are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Due to the important need for you to understand these new regulations, JSI is offering a webinar on the ACP on Thursday, February 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern. If you have questions about the ACP, please contact Lans Chase by clicking the button below.

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