New Guidance for Transition to Affordable Connectivity Program
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau waives certain rules governing the enrollment freeze and notice requirements for the end of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which will cease no later than December 31, 2021 as a result of the text in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. At that time, households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will have an automatic 60- day transition period during which time they will continue to receive their current Emergency Broadband Benefit-benefit amount. In addition to waiving the enrollment freeze and consumer notice rules for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, the bureau also provides preliminary guidance to help consumers, service providers, outreach partners, and other stakeholders prepare for the transition from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to the Affordable Connectivity Program. The bureau waives rules requiring:
- The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to freeze enrollments in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program upon issuance of the notice announcing the end of the program
- Participating service providers to issue notices to their Emergency Broadband Benefit Program households no later than 15 days after the announcement of the end of the program, and issue a customer notice at least 30 days before the end of the program
The bureau warns that there may be a small gap between the date that Emergency Broadband Benefit Program enrollments cease and the date that applications are accepted in the Affordable Connectivity Program. USAC and the bureau will endeavor to implement the freeze on EBB Program enrollments as close in time to the start of the new program as is technically and administratively feasible. USAC may also need to remove access to the online and paper applications for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program before the close of the program.
WCB Issues Guidance for Transition to Affordable Connectivity Program