Is There Any Difference Between Spectrum EBB and ACP?
Spectrum is a U.S.-based telecommunications company that offers cell phone service, home phone service, high-speed internet, and cable TV. Until December 31, 2021, the company also offered the EBB program. However, as the program has expired since, it now offers the new ACP benefit that provides similar benefits.
What Is Spectrum ACP?
Spectrum participates in the new ACP, Affordable Connectivity Program, which has replaced the old EBB and provides eligible households with monthly discounts for internet service.
Spectrum ACP offers a credit of up to $30 a month toward broadband services for qualifying non-Tribal households and $75 a month for qualifying households living on Tribal lands.
What Is Spectrum EBB?
Spectrum EBB is Spectrum ACP’s predecessor. The EBB or Emergency Broadband Benefit helped households struggling to afford internet services by providing them with a discount. Spectrum EBB offered similar benefits as Spectrum ACP does.
The Main Difference Between Spectrum ACP and EBB
Spectrum EBB and ACP offer similar benefits, however, the main difference is that while the monthly discount for people living on Tribal lands has stayed the same, non-Tribal customers were able to receive a slightly higher discount under the EBB program (up to $50 a month).
How to Qualify for Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program? (New and Existing Customers)
Not all people can enroll in the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program. To qualify, you must be a resident of one of the states where Spectrum offers its ACP benefits. Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program is available in many U.S. states, including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In addition, you must be ACP-eligible. As the Affordable Connectivity Program is government-funded all ACP providers have the same FCC-determined eligibility criteria. A household is eligible for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program (and for most other ACP programs by other providers) if any household member meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Is eligible for the Lifeline program.
- Has an annual household income of at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, WIC, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or certain Tribal assistance programs, such as Tribal Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program, or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
The Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility criteria are the same for both new and existing customers. However, the application process for new and current customers differs slightly. Read more about the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program application process in the section ‘How to Apply for Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program? (New and Existing Customers)’.
What Documents Are Required for Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program?
During your Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program, you will be required to submit certain documents that will prove your ACP eligibility. Attaching these documents is vital, as doing so will prove that you qualify for the ACP benefits. Depending on your eligibility criteria, you may be asked to provide some of the following documents.
To verify your identity or address:
- Government-issued ID
- U.S. driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of U.S. citizenship or naturalization
- Another official document that includes your full legal name, date of birth, and address
To prove your household income:
- 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
- Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
- Divorce decree
- Child support award
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits
- A similar official document showing your income and full name
To prove your qualifying assistance program participation:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
- Another official document showing 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
To participate in the ACP program on your own, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor. As such, emancipated minors are also required to show their emancipated minor status. To do so, they can provide a court document or a certificate of emancipation.
How to Apply for Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program? (New and Existing Customers)
The Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program application process is quick and simple. However, it depends on whether you are a new or an existing Spectrum customer.
New Spectrum customers can apply for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program by following these steps:
- Find out if you are eligible for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program by visiting buy.spectrum.com/buyflow/buyflow-localization? and providing the required information.
- After confirming your eligibility, you will also be required to apply for the ACP through the National Verifier at acpbenefit.org.
- Wait for the verification of your status and enjoy your Spectrum ACP benefits. Your Spectrum ACP credit will be applied to your current bill cycle and will appear on your next bill statement.
Existing Spectrum customers can apply for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program by following these instructions:
- Existing Spectrum customers who have already applied through the National Verifier at acpbenefit.org/ and confirmed their eligibility can apply for this program at spectrum.net/support/forms/affordable_connectivity_program.
- You will be required to sign in to your account and provide certain information.
- You will receive the verification of your status in the Spectrum ACP program via email. Your Spectrum ACP credit will be applied to your current bill cycle and will appear on your next bill statement.
In case you have any questions about your internet service requirements, call Spectrum’s customer service at (844) 451-4775.
What Are the Benefits if I Qualify for the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program?
Customers and households who are residents of one of the states where Spectrum offers its ACP services and are ACP-eligible can enroll in the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program. Those who successfully enroll will receive some great benefits.
The main benefit of the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program is that every eligible customer will receive a credit of up to $30 a month toward broadband internet services. Eligible customers living on qualifying Tribal lands can receive a discount of up to $75 a month.
Note: The ACP benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share both income and expenses.
Read more about the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program at spectrum.net/support/internet/affordable-connectivity-program.
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Does Spectrum Offer Internet Plans for Low Income People Other Than ACP?
Before Spectrum launched its ACP program, the provider participated in the EBB program and offered EBB discounts and plans for eligible customers. However, the Spectrum EBB program is no longer available.
In addition to the new Spectrum ACP, the company also offers Lifeline benefits for eligible customers. Lifeline offers subsidized internet and/or phone service. Read more about how to qualify and the benefits of the Spectrum Lifeline program at spectrum.net/support/voice/lifeline-phone-credit-landing.
In addition to the ACP and Lifeline discounts on internet service, which can be applied to all Spectrum plans, the provider also offers a special plan for low-income households called Spectrum Internet Assist.
The plan offers fast internet at a low price. The plan includes:
- A free internet modem
- High-speed internet at 30 Mbps (note: wireless speeds may vary)
- No data caps
- No contracts
- Optional in-home Wi-Fi service at $5 a month
To sign up for this plan, one member of your household must be a recipient of one of these benefit programs: National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the NSLP, or Supplemental Security Income (for applicants age 65 and more only). If eligible, you can apply at spectrum.net/support/forms/spectrum_internet_assist.
Read more about the Spectrum Internet Assist plan for low-income customers at spectrum.com/internet/spectrum-internet-assist.
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FAQ for Spectrum ACP
In Which Areas Does Spectrum Provide Its Services?
Spectrum offers its services in 44 U.S. states, however, not all of these states provide both Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program benefits. Spectrum ACP discounts are available to eligible households in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Why Does Spectrum Offer the ACP?
Spectrum has decided to participate in the now-expired Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) to help the people and households who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and do not have enough resources to afford monthly internet and mobile services. As the temporary EBB program has proven to be vital for millions of low-income citizens, the government has decided to expand and modify the program. Thus, the old EBB program was transformed into the new ACP program, which offers similar benefits. Spectrum has decided to participate in the new ACP program for the same reasons why it participated in the old EBB program – to help people in need afford internet services and thus stay connected to their loved ones, jobs, education, healthcare, and more.
If I Am Eligible for the Spectrum EBB, Will I Get Direct Benefits from Spectrum ACP?
While Spectrum EBB and ACP programs offer similar benefits and have almost identical eligibility criteria, Spectrum EBB customers will not receive Spectrum ACP benefits automatically. Instead, they will have to reapply. If you are currently a Spectrum EBB subscriber, you will continue to receive the same monthly service discount until March 1, 2022. After this date, the discounts will cover up to $30 a month for broadband services ($75 for eligible households living on Tribal lands).
Which Internet Service Providers Are Participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is available in all U.S. states and territories. Countless fixed and mobile internet service providers participate in the program and offer monthly service discounts and in some cases even one-time discounts on connected devices, such as tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. Some of the most popular Affordable Connectivity Program providers include Access Wireless, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Boost Mobile, Cintex Wireless, Comcast, Cox, Easy Wireless, enTouch Wireless, Metro by T-Mobile, Q Link Wireless, StandUp Wireless, TracFone Wireless, TruConnect, Verizon, etc. You can see the full list of all ACP providers in your state of residence by visiting fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers and choosing your state. Those providers that have a tick under ‘Offering Connected Devices’ also provide eligible customers with a one-time non-transferrable discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
How Will I Know When the ACP Program Is Ending?
Unlike the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB, the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP is a long-term government assistance program, which means that it will continue to provide support for low-income citizens at least until the funds are depleted. In case the program ends, Spectrum will notice each subscriber 30 days before the Spectrum Affordable Connectivity Program comes to an end. This will include the last date or billing cycle that will include this credit and the price of broadband services after the program ends. Participating customers will also be informed whether or not they qualify for a partial month benefit. In case you wish to terminate your service before, you can do so at any time without penalty.