When the COVID 19 pandemic struck the world, many American citizens were affected. Several lost their jobs and businesses, which spiked financial strain among households. As a result, affording communication services within limited-income households became hectic. This is because as much as communication is important, it comes with a cost. One needs monthly plans and devices like tablets and laptops for successful communication. Unfortunately, these devices come with big-budget that might strain low-income citizens.
Consequently, the government came through to ease the cost of such devices. This is through the Affordable Connectivity Program, also known as ACP. This is a government newly initiated program that helps low-income households to afford broadband services. This new program is a successor of Emergency Broadband Benefit, EBB, and provides monthly discounts on broadband services and devices to eligible individuals or households. To get free ACP tablets, laptops, or Desktop computers, you should contact service providers like Cintex Wireless and Qlink wireless for help. On our page today, we have explained in detail what is ACP program is and how do I get a free tablet and laptop with the Affordable Connectivity Program. Without wasting time, let’s dive into it!
The American government has programs that intend to give out free or discounted tablets to its citizen. Through the programs, you get discounts that enable you to acquire your desired tablet at a lower price. For instance, the ACP tablet discounts. Therefore, if you are an American citizen, you might be fortunate to receive a free or discounted tablet (one-time discount up to $100) from ACP. However, you must have an income that is below the federal poverty guideline or be a recipient of any federal assistance program.
How Does The Affordability Connectivity Program (ACP) Work?
Affordable Connectivity Program, also known as ACP, is a new, long-term program created by Congress to take over the famous EBB program. Similar to EBB, the program is funded by FCC with the intention of making internet connections affordable to low-income households. This is meant to breach the digital divide in the world of communication by helping the less fortunate to afford connections for school, work, and healthcare on a long-term basis.
The program works by offering monthly discounts of $30 to qualified residents that live outside tribal lands. In addition, it will offer $75 monthly discounts on broadband services to tribal land residents. However, there is a new requirement whereby you must have an income equal to or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline. Fortunately, the already qualified EBB consumers that qualified based on 135% of their federal poverty guidelines were not canceled out. In return, they continued receiving their benefits with a 60 days transition period count from 31st of December 2021.
Who Is Eligible For Affordable Connectivity Program Free Tablet?
ACP devices or benefits, in general, are limited to one member per household. To become that member, there are requirements to meet. Below are the eligibility criteria to meet before getting ACP tablet, laptop, and desktop.
- You must have an income that is below or at 200% of the federal poverty guideline: Effective from 2022, all applicants must have a total income that is equal to or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline. Therefore, you should check with your state and confirm your income limit as per the size of your household before applying for ACP tablet.
- Alternatively, you must be a member of any government assistance programs: You can also qualify if you receive benefits from any assistance program. These programs focus to help people that are strained financially. Therefore, benefiting from them is enough prove that you are from a low income household. Some of these programs are: SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, lifeline, federal public housing assistance and so on.
- Alternatively, you must be a member of any tribal assistance program: These are also government assistance programs that help low income households that reside in tribal lands. Some of these programs are: tribal TANF, bureau of Indian affairs general assistance and food distribution program on Indian reservation.
- You must have receives a federal Pell grant in he nearly previous year: Federal Pell grants are awards given to undergraduate students that have earned a chance to do bachelor’s degree but display some financial strains from their background. Receiving these grants is a massive factor to prove that you are from a low income household. This automatically qualifies you for ACP benefits
- Must be qualified to receive reduced price school lunch or breakfast program: Receiving help from this program also indicates that the individual is from a financially strained household. Therefore, you will qualify for ACP benefits after showing proof that you receive benefits from the program.
What Documents Need To Apply For Free Tablet?
While applying for a free tablet, you are required to attach copy of documents for national verifier to determine whether you qualify or disqualify for the program. Note that these documents should coincide with your eligibility criteria. Also, they should be valid and reliable, with no dark or blurry copies allowed. Below are the documents:
Based on your income
- Annual state, federal or tribal tax return copy
- Pension statement of benefits
- Social security statement of benefits
- Veteran administration document
- Unemployment statement of benefits
- Child support award
Based on government assistance programs.
- Medicaid approval letter
- SNAP benefits verification letter
- Federal public housing benefit award letter
- Free and reduces price school lunch or breakfast program document with a future expiration date
- Current academic year federal Pell grants documents
- Passport or birth certificate to prove identity.
- Certificate of US Naturalization
- Green card
- US driver’s license or
- Individual taxpayer identification number document
How To Apply For Affordable Connectivity Program Free Tablet
The easiest way to apply for ACP tablet, laptop, or desktop is online through the lifeline national verifier official website. All you need to do is fill an application form, create an account, submit and wait for the approval. You can also apply through contacting ACP service provider that gives out government tables, desktops, or laptops or print out a mail-in application. It’s advisable to fill these forms with utmost care and attention to avoid filing invalid information. Below is a detailed application procedure:
- Visit acpbenefit.org/how-to-apply
- Scroll the page down and tap ‘’apply now’’
- You will be redirected to lifeline national verifier website to fill the application form.
- Enter your full name, date of birth, address and identity details.
- Tick whether you qualify independently or through a dependent
- Click ‘’next’’
- Provide your email and password to create an account.
- Prove eligibility and submit the form.
- Wait for approval within minutes.
- Locate a participating ACP service provider near you, contact them and select a plan and device that suits you.
- Visit your ACP provider’s website
- Fill their ACP benefits application form
- Enter correct personal details and address
- Prove eligibility
- Select a suitable plan or device
- Finalize the application and wait for approval.
Is EBB And ACP The Same?
Basically, EBB and ACP work the same but are not the same. Both are FCC limited-time programs that were initiated to help low household citizens to affordable broadband services. The programs provide discounts on internet service monthly bills, making it easier to use the internet for schooling, seek healthcare help and work conveniently.
Nevertheless, the two programs are distinct in terms of benefits. First and foremost, ACP is a transition of EBB program where all EBB consumers automatically continued to receive ACP benefits starting 31/12/2021. Below are the new changes expected in ACP!
- Eligible consumers will receive monthly benefits of $30 for non-tribal lands residents and $75 for tribal lands residents. This is unlike EBB, where eligible non-tribal land residents received $50 monthly discounts on broadband services. However, the $75 monthly discount for tribal land households will remain constant. Eligible recipients can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop or desktop computer from participating providers.
- Eligibility criteria for ACP has changed in the following way. To qualify, you should have a total household income of below or equal to 200% of the federal poverty guideline. This has changed from total household income of 135% of the federal poverty guideline in EBB.
- If you or your household received EBB benefits due to substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough, you will have to requalify for ACP with additional benefits application steps.
What Other Benefits Does The Affordable Connectivity Program Provide?
- Helps you to get free high end mobile phones from service providers like Cintex wireless.
- Through the program, you can get unlimited talk and text with national wide coverage from companies like standup wireless.
- Through the program, you get a chance to receive up to $100 discount when buying a computer through different providers who participate in ACP.
- The program helps to bridge digital divide by bringing wireless connection to everyone regardless of their financial status
- 5G high speed data and mobile hotspot from providers like AT&T
What Tablets Are Available On The Affordable Connectivity Program?
- Samsung galaxy tab S7
- Lenovo Tab 5
- New Microsoft Surface Go 2
- LG G pad 5- 4GB LTE Tab
Providers, That Participate In Affordable Connectivity Program?
Below is a list of ACP participating providers. Note that these providers have different plans and ACP benefits. It’s therefore essential to contact your selected provider to know more about their plans. Some of these providers are:
- Boost Mobile
- Cox communications
- Standup wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Verizon Wireless
- Cintex wireless
- Qlink wireless
Which Areas Are Covered By The ACP Tablet Program?
- Minnesota (mn)
- Arkansas and so on.
Other Ways To Get A Free Tablet
There are different ways of getting free tablets. Whether from the government or not, you might be fortunate to grab yourself a free tablet through the following ways:
You can also be lucky to get a free tablet from this helping organization that considers the needy in society. The organization helps needy families, needy students, and veterans, disabled, and so on to acquire some necessities for free. This might include a free tablet or computer. However, you have to request help and show proof that you are indeed needy.
2. Everyoneon program
This is another reliable non-profit organization that gives free tablets to lucky individuals. The program works its best to ensure everyone has an opportunity to connect to families and friends regardless of your social class. It offers free or affordable tablets, computers and other internet services to low income families which helps to break digital divide in the country.
3. Local churches
Churches are not only meant for worship but also considered as places to offer help. Since churches receive donations from different donors, they are at a better position to help any needy student or worker with a free tablet. However, you should prove that you are needy and you are desperately in need of it.
You can also get a free tablet online by visiting websites like craigslist or even social media websites. On such websites, you might be lucky to get a well-wisher, explain your situation, and get a free tablet.