What is Happening With the ACP?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has entered its wind-down phase. Unless Congress takes action, the ACP is estimated to run out of funds at the end of April 2024. Therefore, no ACP applications or enrollments will be accepted after February 7, 2024.
What Does This Mean for Me If My Household Has ACP?
Households who currently have the ACP benefit will receive multiple notices from their internet provider about the end of the program. These notices may be sent by email, or text, or in the post and may come with your bill or separately.
The first notice households will receive around January 25, 2024. This initial notice will tell households about the possible upcoming end of ACP and that this will impact the ACP households' internet bill.
The second notice is likely to go out at the beginning of March and third notice will be sent out during the last month of ACP, predicted to be April. Both of these notices are required to tell households:
- that the ACP is ending
- the impact on your bill
- the date of the last bill you will receive that includes the ACP benefit
- that you may change your service or opt-out of continuing service when the ACP ends
What Can I Do Now?
Review the information from your internet provider and from the FCC to make sure you understand the timeline of the ACP wind-down. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which runs the ACP program, has put together information about the wind-down process and the requirements for internet providers which you can read. There is an FAQ webpage (language options are at the top right of the page) and a Fact Sheet (pdf) - English, Spanish, Vietnamese.
Contact Your Internet Provider
Call your provider before April 2024 to find out what your options are. Then inform them that you want to:
- Continue your current service after April 30, 2024
- Your internet bill will increase by $30/month after the ACP runs out
- Or switch to another plan at a different price with the same provider
- some providers offer a low-cost plan to qualifying households, this may be under a different plan name and/or have a different connection rate than your current plan
- A list of current low-cost plans by many providers can be found at https://www.digitalinclusion.org/free-low-cost-internet-plans/
- Or cancel your service as of April 30, 2024
- The ACP allows households to cancel their internet plan at any time without paying a penalty fee
- If you want to switch providers, you will need to both cancel your current internet service and sign up with the new provider
If you do not contact your internet provider, then they will continue your internet service under the current plan and your household will be charged the full price, without the $30 ACP benefit, after April.
You can access free Wi-Fi (wifi) at library branches or connect to Community Wi-Fi in Downtown San José or select East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) attendance areas. The process is simple and works for any wireless-enabled device, which includes most laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
The steps to connect are similar across devices and locations:
- Select the Wi-Fi icon on your device.
- Select the wireless network you would like to join:
- For branch locations, this is "SJPL-WiFi"
- For the King Library, this is either "King_Library_WIFI" or "SJSU_Guest"
- For San José Downtown Wi-Fi, this is "Access SJ Downtown"
- For Community Wi-Fi in ESUHSD attendance areas, this is "SJ Access Free Wi-Fi"
- If you see a notification specifying the need to "sign in," select that notification.
- Once you select “Agree”, your device will connect.
Need to borrow an internet hotspot? The San José Public Library can help! We have devices available to borrow for 90 days with one 30-day automatic renewal, if there are no other hold requests on the item.
A portable Wi-Fi (wifi) hotspot is a pocket-sized mobile device. It uses Wi-Fi to help you connect your devices to the internet without having to plug into anything. Examples of devices you could use with a Wi-Fi hotspot are Chromebooks, iPads and other tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
Ask Congress to Fund an Extension of the ACP
There is a bipartisan bill that has been introduced to both the House and the Senate to add funds to the ACP. You can contact your members of Congress by calling or sending an email to ask that they vote to pass the funding extension. This can be done by anyone, whether or not your household receives the ACP benefit.