RIP ACP: December 31, 2021—May 30, 2024

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Monday, March 4, 2024

Digital Beat

RIP ACP: December 31, 2021—May 30, 2024

On March 4, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Public Notice announcing that April 2024 will be the last fully funded month for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit. The Public Notice:

  1. provides guidance on the May 2024 partial reimbursement month;
  2. reminds participating providers of the notices they must send to ACP households; and
  3. provides guidance on the consumer protections for ACP households during wind-down and after the ACP ends. 

May 2024

Based on the FCC's current forecast, there are insufficient funds to pay all participating ISP claims in full through the May 2024 service month. Reimbursements to providers for May 2024 will be on a reduced pro-rata basis. Therefore, providers that choose to provide a benefit in May should plan to pass through only a reduced benefit to households that have opted-in to continue to receive broadband service after the end of the full ACP benefit. ISPs will not be able to claim more than the discount that was passed through to the subscriber. Later this month, the FCC will share information regarding the reimbursement rate available to providers for service provided in May. 

Notices to ACP Households

By Tuesday, March 19, ISPs must send their ACP subscribers a written notice that advises that the program is ending and states the impact on the households’ broadband service and bills. While the FCC does not prescribe a specific format or wording for these consumer notices, the March notices to consumers must include:

  • the date of the last bill on which the full ACP benefit will be applied,
  • the amount that the household will be billed for the service once the full ACP benefit is no longer available or that the household will be subject to the ISP's undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions after the end of the ACP, and 
  • a reminder that ACP subscribers have a right to change their service or opt out of continuing their service at the end of the ACP.

The FCC also requires ISPs to notify ACP customers about any partial benefit that is applied for service provided for May 2024. ISPs that intend to claim and pass through a partial benefit to ACP households for May 2024, where the household has opted in to continue to receive and pay for broadband service after the full ACP benefit is no longer applied, must provide written notice to those households that the benefit amount applied to the May bill may be less than the full ACP benefit the household has been receiving. Such written notices must also state that the household will be subject to the provider’s fully undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions after the last bill that any partial benefit is applied. This information may be included in the other required notices or sent separately.

The FCC strongly encourages ISPs to inform ACP subscribers about the ISP's lower cost offerings and low-income programs, or a phone number or link to a website where ACP households may obtain such information.

Providers are not limited in the number of notices they may send to their ACP consumers. The FCC encourages ISPs to correspond more frequently with their ACP subscribers should the ISP believe such additional outreach is necessary or beneficial. These notices must be sent to ACP households in writing and in a manner that is accessible to persons with disabilities. The FCC encourages ISPs to send the required consumer notices in a format and language that is consistent with any consumer-expressed preferences.

Consumer Protections

ISPs may not engage in unjust and unreasonable acts or practices that would undermine the purpose, intent, or integrity of the ACP—even after the program winds down.

ISPs that participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program are subject to the consumer protection requirements during wind-down—and some requirements will remain applicable after subscribers cease receiving the ACP benefit. The ACP was not intended to place additional financial burdens on eligible households and these consumer protection requirements are among the core components that protect consumers from financial harm. Providers can also mitigate additional financial burdens on consumers after the end of the ACP by offering to move consumers to low-cost internet service plans that they already offer or develop as an offering to low-income consumers. Because ACP-eligible households may continue to transfer their ACP benefits to new ISPs during wind-down, participating ISPs must comply with transfer-related consumer protection provisions. 

Under ACP rules, a participating ISP may not terminate an eligible household’s ACP-supported service on the grounds that the household has failed to pay the charges set forth on a bill for such service until 90 days have passed since the bill payment due date. This rule remains in effect as long as a household continues to receive ACP-supported service. Should a household enter a delinquent status after the bill due date, a provider is permitted to mitigate the financial harm to the household by switching the household to a lower-cost plan, with advance notice to the household.

The prohibition on charging early termination fees to eligible households who purchase and apply the ACP benefit to service plans subject to extended service contracts continues to apply after the end of the ACP.  If a household entered into a service plan with an extended service contract and applied its ACP benefit to that service plan, the provider cannot charge the household an early termination fee for terminating that service contract early, even after the household stops receiving the ACP benefit.  A household’s statutory right not to pay an early termination fee for ending an extended service contract early (e.g., because the household wanted to change service or opt out of continuing service) remains in place after the ACP benefit stops being applied to the service.

ISPs may not engage in unjust and unreasonable acts or practices that would undermine the purpose, intent, or integrity of the ACP and this would continue to be the case after households no longer receive the ACP benefit due to the wind-down of the program. For example, even after the ACP benefit is no longer being applied to broadband bills, it would undermine the purpose, intent, and integrity of the ACP, and FCC programs more generally, for a provider to hold itself out as an ACP participating provider, engage in false or misleading advertising of the ACP, or violate any remaining applicable program rules.

Consumers who have concerns about provider compliance with ACP rules and wind-down requirements may file a complaint with the Commission by visiting

More Info

The FCC encourages ISPs and consumers to visit and for more information and further updates regarding the ACP. 

Providers seeking further assistance regarding ACP wind-down requirements should contact the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) via their support email address for providers. Providers are also encouraged to visit to sign up for the ACP bulletin and future webinars and to view past webinars and information sessions.  

Households with questions may contact the ACP Support Center at (877) 384-2575 or Consumers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing may use the ASL Hotline at (844) 432-2275.

Additional Resources from the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society 


The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.

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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
Executive Editor, Communications-related Headlines
Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
1041 Ridge Rd, Unit 214
Wilmette, IL 60091
headlines AT benton DOT org

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