What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new government assistance program by the FCC designed to help ensure that low-income households can afford the internet access they need for work, education, healthcare, and more.
The program provides two types of discounts – on monthly services and devices. Eligible households can get a monthly internet service discount of up to $30 (up to $75 for eligible households on qualifying Tribal lands). In addition, eligible customers may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. However, due to the FCC rules, the customer must contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. Note: While all ACP providers offer discounts on monthly broadband services, only some of them also offer discounts on connected devices.
The Affordable Connectivity Program has been launched on December 31, 2021. It has replaced the now-expired Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), which was created in response to the COVID-19 crisis and designed to help families struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. As the program proved to be vital for millions of Americans, the U.S. Congress has decided to modify and extend the program, creating the new ACP program that offers similar benefits as the old EBB program.
Does Cox Communications Offer the Affordable Connectivity Program?
One of the many service providers that offer the Affordable Connectivity Program benefits is Cox Communications. Cox ACP offers both types of discounts – on fixed services and connected devices.
Cox believes it is important for everyone to have access to affordable internet, as it helps them stay in touch with loved ones, work, and school. To help make sure every household has reliable internet access, in May 2021, Cox decided to participate in the temporary EBB program. In December 2021, the provider has decided to participate in the new long-term ACP program that has replaced the EBB.
Cox customers who applied to Cox EBB before December 31, 2021, will continue to receive their current monthly EBB discount during a 60-day transition period (until March 1, 2022). They will be notified about the next steps to receive the ACP benefits after the transition period. Cox customers who are applying after December 31, 2021, will be enrolled in the new Cox ACP program (if eligible).
Read more about the Cox ACP at cox.com/residential/internet/ebb.html.
In Which States Is Cox ACP Offered?
Unfortunately, Cox ACP is not offered in all U.S. states. States in which eligible customers can get Cox ACP benefits include:
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
How to Qualify for the Cox Affordable Connectivity Program?
To qualify for the Cox ACP program, you must meet all three criteria below:
First, you must be a resident of one of the states where Cox offers its ACP discounts. See the list of Cox ACP states in the previous section.
Secondly, you must have Cox Connect2Compete Internet or ConnectAssist Internet, or Lifeline Phone plus Internet.
Lastly, you must be ACP-eligible. ACP eligibility criteria are determined by the government, therefore they are universal for all ACP providers. A household is ACP-eligible if a family member meets at least one of the following criteria:
- Your annual household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines is approximately $53,000 for a family of four. Check out the income maximum for your household at lifelinesupport.org/do-i-qualify/federal-poverty-guidelines.
- You or another household member must participate in one of the following government assistance programs:
- Free or reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Head Start
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
- You or another household member must participate in one of the following government Tribal programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Your household is a Pell Grant recipient for the current academic year.
What Documents Are Required to Sign Up for Cox ACP?
When applying to Cox ACP, you will be required to prove your eligibility. The provider will be able to automatically verify whether or not you have a qualifying internet service plan. However, you may have to verify your identity, address, and ACP eligibility by providing the documentation that proves it. You may be asked to verify your identity using your mobile phone number and your date of birth or by uploading your ID, passport, or driver’s license. Depending on your eligibility criteria, you may also be asked to provide documentation of income, unemployment status, or participation in one of the qualifying government assistance programs.
- If asked to verify your identity, you may have to show an official document that includes your full name and date of birth. Document examples: a passport, government, military, state, or Tribal ID; birth certificate, driver’s license, Green Card, etc.
- If asked to verify your address, you may have to submit an official document that includes your full name and your current physical address. Document examples: a passport, ID, driver’s license, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, etc. Note: Your full address must match your service address.
- If asked to prove your income-based eligibility, you may have to show proof of income that includes your full name and annual income. Document examples: a tax return, pay stubs, current income statement from your employer, Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, etc.
- If asked to prove your participation in a qualifying government benefit program, you may have to submit an official document 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. Document examples: an approval letter, a benefit verification letter, a benefit award letter, a statement of benefits, etc.
As only people who are 18 years old or more and emancipated minors can enroll, you may also have to verify your age or emancipated minor status. To prove that you are an emancipated minor, you can submit a court document or an emancipation certificate.
You may submit these documents online or via mail. Either way, make sure to only submit copies made with a copy machine, scanner, or a camera, instead of submitting original documents.
How to Apply/Sign Up for Cox ACP?
It’s easy to sign up for the Cox ACP program. All you need to do is to follow the simple steps below:
- Make sure you are Cox ACP-eligible. See the eligibility criteria above.
- Visit cox.com/residential/internet/ebb.html and scroll down to ‘Let’s get started’.
- Provide your service address and unit/apt number. Press ‘Check availability’. If you are an existing customer, you can press ‘Sign-in’.
- When redirected to the Cox ACP online application form, provide all the required information and documentation and submit the application.
- Up to a few days from submitting your application, the provider will send you an email informing you whether or not you qualify. You can then start enjoying your Cox ACP benefits.
What Are the Benefits of the Cox Affordable Connectivity Program?
Cox ACP offers a long list of benefits. As mentioned before, Cox offers both monthly service discounts and device discounts. As such, Cox-ACP eligible customers (see the eligibility criteria in the ‘How to Qualify for the Cox ACP?’ section) can receive the following benefits:
- A discount of up to $30 on monthly internet service for eligible non-Tribal households
- A discount of up to $75 on monthly internet service for eligible households living on qualifying Tribal lands
Note: Any fixed or mobile broadband connection qualifies for the Cox ACP. Cox ACP eligible internet plans include the following:
- Gigablast Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 1 Gbps maximum download speed, and 35 Mbps to 940 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Ultimate 500 Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 500 Mbps maximum download speed, and 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Ultimate Classic 300 Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 300 Mbps maximum download speed, and 30 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Preferred 150 Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 150 Mbps maximum download speed, and 10 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Essential 50 Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 50 Mbps maximum download speed, and 3 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Starter 25 Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 25 Mbps maximum download speed, and 3 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- Connect2Compete Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 50 Mbps maximum download speed, and 3 Mbps maximum upload speed.
- ConnectAssist Package. It offers 1.25 TB of monthly data, 50 Mbps maximum download speed, and 3 Mbps maximum upload speed.
Read more about Cox ACP eligible plans at cox.com/aboutus/policies/speeds-and-data-plans.html.
- In addition to the discount on monthly service, Cox ACP also offers the connected device benefit
Through Cox’s partnership with PCs for People, ACP-eligible customers can get a one-time discount of up to $100 towards a laptop or a desktop computer (Cox does not offer tablets). The customer must pay a co-pay of more than $10 and less than $50 for the device. This offer is only available while supplies last. Due to extremely high demand, it may take several weeks to receive access to purchase a connected device. Once inventory is available, the provider will email you details about how to receive the one-time device discount.
Note: ACP or EBB customers who have already received a one-time device discount from Cox or any other ACP/EBB provider, are not eligible to receive a second discount on connected devices.
What Are the Restrictions of the Cox ACP?
Just like any other government assistance program, Cox ACP also comes with a set of restrictions. Cox ACP rules and limitations include:
- To qualify for Cox ACP, you must be eligible. See the eligibility criteria above.
- Only one ACP benefit is available per eligible household.
- Cox ACP is non-transferrable.
- A household can only receive ACP benefits from one provider. However, each household can change the provider at any time.
- If a household has already received a one-time device discount from Cox or any other provider, it is not eligible to receive another device discount.
- To continue receiving your ACP benefit, you must use the service at least once a month.
- If you are no longer Cox ACP-eligible, you must notify the provider within 30 days.
- ACP services and devices are subject to eligibility, provider participation, product availability, and FCC/USAC approval.
Cox ACP Related Others Thing You Should Know
What is the Difference Between EBB and ACP?
EBB was a temporary government assistance program, while ACP is a new long-term program. Both programs offer similar benefits. However, EBB offered a monthly service discount for non-Tribal families of up to $50 and one of its qualifiers was significant loss of income due to furlough or unemployment after February 29, 2020. In addition, proof of income qualifier increased from 135% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Who is PCs for People?
PCs for People is a non-profit organization with a simple goal – to promote digital equality and inclusion. It offers refurbished electronic devices and thus it provides the opportunity for low-income households and non-profit organizations to stay connected with loved ones, work, and education.
If you need information PCs for People EBB Program Guide 2022
How do I Sign Up if I Don’t Have an Internet Connection?
According to research, most households have mobile devices. As such, Cox has designed a simple ACP application form, which can easily be filled out on a mobile phone. Alternatively, people can apply for Cox ACP in a public library, which offers computers and free internet access.
When Will the ACP program End?
The ACP program is a government-funded program, as such, it depends on the funds. It may end when the $14 billion fund is exhausted. However, it is a long-term program, therefore it won’t end any time soon. The EBB program, on the other hand, is no longer available since December 31, 2021, however, customers who have enrolled before that will continue receiving the benefits until March 1, 2022. Then, they will be able to transfer to the new ACP program.
How Does the Billing Work?
If you are approved for the Cox ACP program, you will see a credit applied to your existing account. Nonetheless, any additional charges are the responsibility of the account holder.
What if I Have Other Services With Cox?
Cox offers consolidated bills to its customers, which means that all services are included on a single bill. Services that are not subsidized by the ACP will need to be paid as before.
Can I Disconnect My Service Or Switch My ACP Provider?
Yes, you can disconnect your service at any time without paying any termination fees. You can also transfer your ACP benefit to another provider at any time.
Do I Need to Use My Cox Internet Service Actively In Order to Keep Receiving the ACP Discount?
Yes, you have to use your service at least once in order to keep receiving the discount, especially if the discount covers the entire monthly cost of your internet and modem rental.
Why Is My ACP Discount Less Than $30 (or $75 For Households Living on Tribal Lands)?
The service discount is up to $30 ($75 for customers on Tribal lands). The discount you qualify for takes into account other discounts you may already receive and is applied to your monthly service rate and any rented equipment.
What if I Have More Questions?
If you have additional questions about the Cox ACP, contact the provider at cox.com/residential/contactus.html.