America is a country that has always been making opportunities equal for all. The Internet is such a digital tool and it is also a right that everyone needs as one of the basic components. Since this country is leading the world in almost every aspect, some people are still falling behind due to their financial hardships. But the federal government has always come up with initiatives to help people who struggle to cope-up with the financial crisis. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBBP) is one of them. The Federal Government started this program with a $3.2 billion fund to provide monthly subsidies to low-income households for a few months.
Millions of Americans were facilitated with these subsidies until December 2021 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the termination of the program. But it’s not over yet as the FCC is bringing a new program named Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to replace the EBB program. Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) starts from March 2022 as a monthly discounted internet and connected gadget program for eligible low-income households. Simple Mobile participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit like its previous effort with the EBB program. This article is to acknowledge you of this new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit.
Does Simple Mobile do the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
Simple Mobile has always its commitments to eliminating the digital divide in the country. It is an experienced MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that has always been providing innovative and low-cost services to users according to their demands. Simple Mobile joined with other public and private organizations to deal with the economic crisis of people across the country. The objective was to provide the households with governments internet subsidies, especially to the people who have been suffering from the loss of income. The EBB program from the last year was one of the fresh examples of Simple Mobile’s unconditional effort. Simple Mobile started its participation in the EBBP to help eligible households in continuation to their livelihoods virtually. And it’s not over yet although the EBB is closed in December 2021. As mentioned above, FCC designed another program named Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) intending to continue providing aid to low-income households with monthly subsidies. Simple Mobile is hopeful with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) as it successfully worked for the EBB program.
Simple Mobile is going to start offering the benefits under the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) from March 2022. Until that, Simple Mobile has its commitment to continue providing the EBB benefits in these two months transition time maintaining the FCC detectives. From March 2022, Simple Mobile will be the regular participant provider of discounted internet and gadgets to eligible households. Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is designed to provide each eligible household with $30 in monthly internet bills and $100 to buy a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer as a subsidy from the federal government. For people from remote tribal land, the monthly subsidy per household is $75.
Is ACP the Same as EBB?
Technically there is a bit of difference between the EBB program and the ACP. But both programs were designed to play a similar role in society. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first initiated the EBB program to provide low-income households across the country with monthly subsidies. But it was formed as a temporary program to last for around six months which ultimately closed in last year’s December. The program was originally planned by the Federal Government to help the citizens who were financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown. Because those low-income households were facing difficulties in arranging monthly internet bills when the internet has been the only way of living and communication in this crisis. Since EBB is no longer available in 2022, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is going to replace it with some effective changes. Here I am going to mention some of the similarities and differences between the EBB program and the ACP.
- The FCC formed the EBB program as temporary whereas the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is going to last for years as a permanent benefit.
- EBB is now a non-existence program. It means that the EBB is not operational anymore and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) starts its function in March 2022. EBB is only to be operational just in these transitional two months until ACP starts.
- Both programs target the same beneficiaries like the jobless, disabled, and low-income students or households. Like the EBB program, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is also a per household program.
- Both the program offers monthly internet subsidies to each household as well as a one-time discount on buying the communicational gadget. But Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers up to $30 monthly to each household where the EBBP used to provide a maximum of $50 monthly. Tribal benefits and gadget purchase subsidies are still the same for both programs.
- Both the programs have almost the same eligibility criteria except the minimum income of a household. EBB program required the household income must be below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. But Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) requires it to be 200% as the limit.
Benefits of Qualifying for the Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Simple Mobile is one of the popular MVNOs that provide affordable and high-speed internet service at a low cost. It has wireless broadband internet access for devices with the latest 4G LTE network. Being an MVNO, Simple Mobile uses T-Mobiles network facilities across the states. If you activate your Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) membership with Simple Mobile, you will get access to its high-end technologies, features, and services. You can start with its 30-day plan among many others starting from 25 dollars. With Simple Mobile, you don’t need to worry about locking yourself with them as there is no permanent contract, overcharge, or hidden fees. Simple Mobile doesn’t charge any activation or cancellation fees rather it offers unlimited calling and texting to countries like Canada, China, India, and Mexico. After the EBB program, Simple Mobile’s features and benefits are increasing through the ACP as a continuation.
Here are the features and benefits that you can get from Simple Mobile by enrolling in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
- You will receive up to $30 as a subsidy to your monthly internet bills
- You will receive up to a $75 discount per month as a subsidy if you qualify by living in tribal lands.
- You will receive up to $100, a one-time discount as a subsidy to any of the connected devices such as a desktop, tablet, or laptop.
Qualify Criteria for Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Like the EBB, the FCC imposed some points as criteria for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligibility. These eligibility criteria are almost the same as the EBB criteria except for some changes. If you already qualify as a customer in any of these assistance programs, then the FCC will consider you eligible for the Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit. To get the monthly discount as an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit, you must meet the following criteria:
- Income-based eligibility
- Eligibility based on the Federal Government assistance program
- Tribal Assistance Program
- Qualify through child or dependent
- Automatic qualify through the Lifeline or EBB program
Eligibility Criteria based on your Income status
- The total income of the household should be less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. It was 135% for the EBB and the Lifeline program, but for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) it is equal to or less than 200% of the guidelines.
- The yearly income of your household in 2021 should meet the FCC guidelines to apply for ACP. This yearly income may vary depending on the state you live in. As an example, For an individual living in Alaska should have an income maximum of $32,180 but in Hawaii, it is $29,640. For a household consisting of 3 or 4 members, the income size is $54,900 in Alaska and $50,520 in Hawaii.
- Workers who lost their jobs or got termination letters or were furloughed since February 29 of 2020 are considerable for ACP. They should apply with proof of their jobless statements.
Federal Assistance Program-based Eligibility criteria
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Survivor Pensions fund
- Receives Federal Pell Grant in the current year
- Qualified for the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program.
Tribal Benefit programs refer to the eligibility of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
- Any of the Federal Assistance programs membership
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA)
- Tribal Head Start (only those households can meet income-qualifying standards)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
- Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Qualify through the Lifeline or EBBP
Finally, your household can Automatically qualify if you have already enjoyed the Lifeline or EBB program from the FCC. Since these programs offer the same eligibility criteria and the beneficiaries already qualified for these programs, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) accepts these two programs automatically.
Documents Required to Apply for Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Before applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you have to make sure that you are eligible for this program legally. To prove you as eligible for the ACP, you will have to provide any of the documents listed below.
Identity Documents needed during your application for ACP:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Any Government-issued ID (State ID, PR ID)
- US Driver’s license
- Your Passport copies
- Tribal Identification Number (If you fit this category)
- U.S Military ID
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
You may also need to provide Federal Government’s special program-related documents based on your eligibility claim:
- Current income statement
- Unemployment statements
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General assistance (SNAP, Medicaid, etc.)
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Other official documents containing income information
Furthermore, if you think you are eligible based on a specific program, then these documents are needed:
- Benefit award letter
- Statement of benefits
- Approval letter
- Benefit verification letter
How Do I Apply for Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
Here are the steps you must follow to enroll in the Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
For Simple Mobile Lifeline Subscriber
You may enroll in the affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through your Internet provider. You do not need to apply again if you are already a Lifeline subscriber. Fortunately, you can continue your Lifeline program along with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through Simple Mobile. Older subscribers just need to apply through simple mobile customer service.
For new subscribers
You can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program in three ways.
Visit support.simplemobile.com to check the Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) eligible plans. If you are eligible then apply via their website. As a new subscriber, login and create a new account for the application.
USAC recommends a household application with a worksheet. While completing the USAC National Verifier form, make sure you have given the same information for the primary holder of your CenturyLink account. Complete the application with the necessary information then print it. Then send it with proof of documents to:
ACP support center
PO BOX 7081
London KY, 40742
Contact Simple Mobile
You will have to contact Simple Mobile at 1-877-878-7908 to get approval. Simple Mobile will help you to get the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits along with other facilities. Ask your all queries regarding the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit.
After you apply
After finishing your application process, simple Mobile will notify you about the status. Applying online is much easier and faster. Make sure, you submitted all the necessary documents properly while applying for the ACP.
Sign up to get Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
As a new user, you should sign up with Simple Mobile to get the ACP. you may contact Simple mobile to learn more about Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits and other facilities along with ACP.
How to Check Status for Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Application?
After the application, the Simple mobile application doesn’t take too long time to approve. It only takes a few days to approve. After completion of the approval, you can check your status online by visiting getemergencyroadband.org. Even you can check through the website https://www.broadbandbenefit.com/en/#!/ebbp/marketplace/landing?brand=STRAIGHT_TALK Sometimes approval can be delayed in some cases, that time you should contact 1-877-878-7908.
Are There Any Limitations of the Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
Still, there are a few restrictions that FCC maps out regarding Simple mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federally funded program designed to assist households based on their income or participation in assistance programs. It is only for individuals who participate or qualify in any of the government programs. A household is not permitted to use the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for multiple users. According to the FCC regulation, only one member will receive Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits like the EBB program. Even Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit is restricted to receiving benefits from one provider at a time. so, this benefit is non-transferable.
Can I Get A Free Tablet with Simple Mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
With the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Benefit, Simple Mobile users can get up to $100 discounts for purchasing tablets, laptops, and computers. Although tablets from simple mobile are not free, they are quite affordable in comparison to market prices. Keep in mind that Simple mobile Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) discounts are subject to availability. You’ll get a discount on the tablet if the current model is available right now.
Is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Permanent?
Before I mentioned that, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) replaced the EBB program. During the last day of 2021, ACP took over EBB. Although, EBB is a temporary program designed to last for 6 months or until funding runs out. FCC has ensured that the ACP program will be a long-term endeavor since its inception. Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is currently not clear whether it is a permanent program or not. The Affordable Connectivity Program will serve the country for a very long time.