TruConnect is an American MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that offers mobile devices, as well as affordable talk, text, and data plans on T-Mobile’s nationwide network. TruConnect is a Lifeline phone service provider, as such, they offer free or discounted wireless service plans, hotspots, and cell phones to Lifeline-eligible low-income customers. Lifeline is a government benefit program that subsidizes phone service for low-income households, thus making sure that everyone stays in touch.
In addition to Lifeline, TruConnect is also an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provider. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a brand new government benefit program by the FCC that has recently replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program and offers eligible customers discounts on monthly broadband internet access service as well as some connected devices.
While we have established that TruConnect offers free or discounted smartphones, we have yet to find out whether or not the MVNO also provides free or discounted tablets. To find out this and more, keep reading.
Does TruConnect Really Offer Free Tablets?
As we have mentioned before, the government-funded Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is FCC’s assistance program that provides discounts on monthly broadband internet service and certain connected devices.
Each eligible household can only get one service discount and one device discount. The exact ACP plans, devices, and offers depend both on your state of residence and available options at the time of your inquiry.
If and where available, TruConnect does offer eligible subscribers the possibility to purchase a discounted 8-inch Google Play Certified Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an ACP discount of up to $100. This offer is subject to availability.
Note: The TruConnect free tablet is not really completely free of charge, as according to the FCC rules, in order to obtain the device, you must pay a mandatory co-pay of more than $10 and less than $50.
What is the Process of Receiving a TruConnect Free Tablet?
If you wish to try your luck at getting a TruConnect free tablet, you must follow these simple yet vital steps:
- First, you must check whether or not you qualify. To qualify, you must meet the FCC’s eligibility criteria, be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor and be a resident of one of the states where your selected provider offers its services. Check the ACP eligibility criteria in the next paragraph.
- Collect all the documentation that is required to prove your eligibility. You can see the list of eligible documents in the section ‘What Documents Are Required For TruConnect Free Tablet Application?’.
- Apply for TruConnect’s Affordable Connectivity Program. You can see the exact process in the chapter ‘How To Apply For a TruConnect Free Tablet?’.
- Wait for approval. If your application gets approved and if the provider offers discounts on ACP tablets in your area at that moment, you can expect to receive your TruConnect free tablet within a few days.
How To Qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program to Get a TruConnect Free Tablet?
To get a TruConnect free or discounted tablet, you must be ACP-eligible.
ACP eligibility criteria are similar to Lifeline’s eligibility criteria. There are several different criteria that may make a person eligible for an ACP benefit.
- Income-based eligibility. A person can be ACP-eligible if they have a gross annual household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
- Program-based eligibility. A person can be ACP-eligible if they qualify for Lifeline or any other Lifeline-qualifying program. They can be eligible if they participate in SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit Fund, or a qualifying Tribal assistance program, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. A person may also be ACP-eligible if they participate in an ACP Program-qualifying program, such as the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program. In addition, receiving a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year also makes a household ACP-eligible.
In case you prove to be ACP-eligible you will get one non-transferable service discount and you may also receive (depending on availability) a discount of up to $100 on an Android tablet.
What Documents are Required For TruConnect Free Tablet Application?
When applying for the ACP discount and benefit, you may be required to provide certain documents in case USAC is unable to find a person’s ACP program eligibility, identity, or address in a database.
ACP application documents include:
- An official document verifying your identity and age that includes your first and last name and date of birth (for example, your passport, a valid government, military, state, or Tribal ID, U.S. Driver’s license, Birth certificate, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization, Permanent Resident Card or Green Card, Government assistance program document, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) document (does not need to include the date of birth))
- An official document verifying your address that includes your full name and physical address (for example, a driver’s license, a valid government, state, or Tribal ID, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, most recent W-2, or tax return)
- If you qualify based on your income, you will be required to provide a document that shows that your annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines (for example, a prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub, a Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income, a retirement/pension statement of benefits)
- If you qualify based on assistance program participation, you will be required to provide an official document proving that you are currently participating in the program that includes your full name, the name of the program, the name of the establishment that issued the document, and an issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date (for example, a benefit award letter, an approval letter, a statement of benefits, a benefit verification letter)
- As ACP participants must be at least 18 years old or emancipated, emancipated minors must provide a court document or certification proving their emancipated minor status.
The applicant can make copies or take pictures of the required document using a scanner, copy machine, camera, or smartphone. Copies must be clear, easy to read, and should not be blurry or too dark. Make sure to never submit original documents.
How To Apply For The TruConnect Free Tablet?
Applying for the TruConnect free tablet is simple. All you have to do is to follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program through the FCC’s ACP support center. You can do so online at https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true or via mail by printing out and completing the application at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf, adding a Household Worksheet available at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf and the proof documentation, and sending the package to ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
- Step 2: Visit truconnect.com/broadband and simply enter your ZIP code and email address. Once you do so, press ‘Apply Now’.
- Step 3: If you are a resident of an eligible state, the system will allow you to continue the application process. You will be required to provide all the necessary information, therefore make sure to read the instructions carefully. Once you are done, press ‘Submit’.
- Step 4: Once you have applied, TruConnect will let you know soon whether or not you qualify for their ACP program and if there is an Android tablet and a device discount available at the moment and at your exact location.
Who is Not Eligible for the TruConnect Lifeline and ACP Programs?
- People who are under 18 years old and do not have an emancipation status are not eligible.
- Households that do not reside in one of the states where TruConnect offers its government assistance benefits are also not eligible (see the list of eligible areas in the next section).
- In addition, people who don’t meet at least one of the FCC-determined ACP eligibility criteria are also not able to qualify. See the ACP eligibility criteria above.
- Moreover, as the ACP benefit is limited to one per eligible household, you won’t be able to apply if another member of your household already receives the benefit.
Which Brand Of Tablet Does TruConnect Offer Free Or Discounted?
At the moment, TruConnect offers the opportunity for eligible customers to purchase a discounted 8″ Google Play Certified Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an ACP discount of up to $100.
However, whether or not you can get the discounted device depends on the state and time availability.
The company does not disclose exactly which tablet models are available in advance, as the offer depends on the location and availability. Nevertheless, you can expect to receive the Sunshine Elite Tablet with an ACP discount for only $10.01.
For more information about the potential tablets you may be able to receive through the ACP benefit, contact TruConnect’s customer support by a submission form or chat at truconnect.com/contact-us or by phone at 800-430-0443 (available from Monday to Saturday 5 am – 9 pm PST).
In case you also need information What Phones Are Compatible With TruConnect
What Other Benefits Do I Get if I Qualify For the TruConnect ACP Program?
In addition to the opportunity to purchase a discounted Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an ACP discount of up to $100, an eligible customer may also get one monthly broadband internet service discount.
The TruConnect ACP plans vary based on your state of residence and available options at the time of your application. Generally, TruConnect ACP plans include:
- California Lifeline customers: The TruConnect California FREE ACP plan comes with at least 14 GB of 4G/LTE data (ACP plan adds 8 GB to your Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
- Lifeline customers outside of California: The TruConnect FREE ACP plan comes with 12.5 GB of 4G/LTE data (ACP plan adds 8 GB of data to your Lifeline plan) with Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
- Stand-Alone Service: The TruConnect FREE ACP plan comes with 8 GB of 4G/LTE data with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and your choice of an LTE-enabled hotspot device or Google Play Certified LTE Android handset.
Both the discounted tablet and the monthly discount on broadband service give an eligible customer a large variety of benefits:
- TruConnect’s ACP program allows low-income people to stay connected to their loved ones.
- It allows them to stay connected to virtual classrooms and education facilities.
- It allows them to stay in touch with work and to seek out new job opportunities.
- It allows them to stay in touch with health services.
- It allows them to stay in touch with emergency services and more.
In Which Areas Does TruConnect Currently Offer Lifeline And ACP Programs?
TruConnect currently offers Lifeline service to residents in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawai’i, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The provider is expected to add states soon.
ACP program is available across all 50 states for the duration of the ACP program.
Read one of our past articles T-Mobile Lifeline Government Discounts
What Are The TruConnect ACP Restrictions?
TruConnect ACP program offers discounts on monthly broadband internet access services and some devices, however, it comes with certain restrictions. TruConnect ACP restrictions include:
- Both the monthly service and device discounts are non-transferrable.
- An eligible household can only get one monthly service discount and one device discount.
- In case you or any of your household members already have an ACP discount, you won’t be able to get another ACP discount from any other ACP provider, including TruConnect. However, you can transfer your ACP benefit to another participating ACP provider at any time.
- In order to continue receiving the benefit, you must use it at least once a month and you must recertify once a year.
- Only ACP-eligible people can get the discount and thus the free tablet. See ACP eligibility criteria above.
- In case you no longer qualify for the program, you must notify the provider within 30 days.
Is There Any Alternative Way to Get Free Tablets for Low-Income Families?
In case you are unable to receive a TruConnect free tablet due to the fact that the company does currently not offer free tablets in your area, you can try to apply for a free device at another ACP provider in your area. Other ACP providers that offer free tablets include AirTalk Wireless, Easy Wireless, Go Technology Management, Maxsip Telecom, Cintex Wireless, NewPhone Wireless, Q Link Wireless, and StandUp Wireless.
In case you cannot receive a free tablet from the government because you are not ACP-eligible, you can try your luck at a charity or non-profit organization. Some of the best non-profits that offer free tablets for low-income families include Accelerated Schools Organization, Adaptive.Org, Causes, Computers for Learning, Cty.Org, EveryoneOn, Komputers 4 Kids, Microsoft Registered Refurbished, On It Foundation, Smartriverside, The Salvation Army, and World Computer Exchange.
If you don’t come from a low-income household, you can try receiving a free tablet by:
- Finding a carrier deal (you may be able to receive a free tablet when buying another device, adding a line, switching to their services, trading in an old device, etc.)
- Becoming a reviewer
- Becoming a marketing agent
- Entering an online giveaway (make sure to avoid scams)
- Through online surveys
- Through Amazon Vine
TruConnect Free Tablets Related FAQs
How Good Is TruConnect Coverage Network?
Given the fact that TruConnect uses T-Mobile’s nationwide network, which is one of the best networks in the country, TruConnect also offers an excellent network and great coverage. You can see TruConnect’s nationwide coverage map at truconnect.com/wireless/coverage/map.
Does TruConnect Charge Any Cost for TruConnect ACP Tablet?
Eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a TruConnect Free Tablet and ACP Program Benefits?
If your ACP application has already been approved, you can enroll in TruConnect’s ACP program at once. On the other hand, if you are applying via TruConnect the application process may take between 3 to 8 days, depending on various factors.
Does TruConnect Lifeline Give Free Phones?
Yes, Lifeline-eligible customers can expect to receive a free smartphone. However, the brand, model, and other details depend on your state of residence and current availability.
Can I Replace a TruConnect Free Phone and Tablet?
Yes. If you experience any technical issues with the device, issues that are not caused by your misuse of the device and if the device is under warranty, you may be able to get a free replacement device. If, on the other hand, you damaged the device yourself or if it got lost or stolen, you will be required to pay for the replacement device.
Is TruConnect ACP the Same as Lifeline?
No, while both are government-funded aid programs, Lifeline is a permanent program, while ACP is a temporary one. TruConnect’s ACP and Lifeline benefits are similar but not the same. You can read more about TruConnect’s ACP benefits at truconnect.com/broadband and find out more about TruConnect’s Lifeline benefits at truconnect.com/lifeline.
Does TruConnect Offer Free Internet?
Yes, TruConnect’s ACP and Lifeline programs both offer up to 14 GB of free monthly data to eligible customers.