No more ACP

Non-tribal providers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) should expect no more than $16 per customer for the month of May – and perhaps as little as $7, according to a public notice issued by the FCC yesterday. The reduced benefit is necessary because the program is set to run out of funding unless federal legislators opt to make additional funding available.

Through the month of April, the non-tribal benefit will remain at the usual $30 level. Beginning in June, the FCC will no longer pay any benefits in the ACP program, which is currently available to low-income customers to cover some of their costs for broadband service.

Tribal providers are expected to receive between $18-$39 per customer for May — a drop from $75 per month.

The benefit for connected devices will drop from $100 per device to between $24 and $53 per device for the month.

According to the FCC, the estimates “take into account factors such as open claims for past service months, recent program activity, and claims trends.”

The commission expects to provide the final number for May ACP benefits in April.

Providers have the option of ending their participation in the ACP with their April payment and not offering a benefit in May. Providers also have the option of contributing toward customers’ ACP service in May so that the benefits remain at the current level or at a level that exceeds what the FCC will cover for the month.

By next Tuesday, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will distribute a survey to providers participating in the ACP asking the providers whether they intend to participate in the ACP in May. Participating providers are required to complete the survey and will have two weeks from when they receive the survey to do so.

Additional information about plans for the final month of the ACP can be found in this FCC public notice.

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