Q. Why is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ending?
A. The Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program was temporary in nature and provided a discount on your internet service for a limited period of time. The Federal government has announced that the EBB Program will end on December 30, 2021 and will be replaced with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) on December 31, 2021.
Q. What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new long-term, $14 billion program, which modifies and extends the existing Emergency Broadband Benefit Program beginning December 31, 2021 and will help low-income households pay for broadband service.
Q. When will my Emergency Broadband Benefit discount end?
A. The FCC has provided a 60-day transition period, beginning on December 31, 2021, and ending on February 28, 2022 (the “EBB Transition Period”), for households currently enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. During the EBB Transition Period you will continue to receive the EBB program discount.
Q. Will I need to reapply for the Affordable Connectivity Program if I’m already enrolled and qualified in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?
A. Beginning in March 2022, your account will automatically transition to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements established by the FCC. No action is required by you to transition to the ACP at this time. If any changes or information is required by you for ACP, we will contact you directly with information.
Q. How do I know if I qualify for the new Affordable Connectivity Program?
A. Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% (previously 135%) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Households that qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 due to Covid-19 will need to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Please visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org for more information on if you qualify.
Q. Will my discount benefit change with this new program?
A. The Affordable Connectivity Program discount for non-Tribal areas is a maximum of $30, reduced from a maximum discount of $50 for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The monthly benefit will remain at up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Q. Can I change my internet service plan due to this new program?
A. Yes, you may change your internet service plan at any time in order to take advantage of any speed changes you need or to account for any changes to the discount amounts that may affect your household due to the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Q. How and when will the Affordable Connectivity Program discount be applied to my bill?
A. Accounts that are eligible for the program and already signed up through Sparklight for EBB will receive their appropriate credit of up to $30 (or up to $75/per month on Tribal lands) beginning with their March billing cycle. Prior to March, you EBB discount will continue to be applied.
Accounts that have not participated in EBB and are eligible for the ACP program and signed up through Sparklight will receive their appropriate credit of up to $30 (or up to $75/per month on Tribal lands) beginning with their next billing cycle.
Q. How much of a credit will I receive?
A. Your credit will be based on the base rate for the internet service you sign up for, excluding taxes, fees, and surcharges, up to a maximum of $30 per month (or up to $75 on Tribal lands).
Q. Are all Sparklight internet plans eligible for a discount?
A. Yes, all of our currently offered internet plans are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program discount.
Q. If my service costs less than $30, will I get the full $30 credit?
A. No, the discount applied will be limited to your actual charges for internet service, up to a maximum of $30 (or up to $75 on Tribal lands).
Q. Can I use this credit to pay down an old bill?
A. No. This benefit is only applicable to current monthly service costs.