(WTAJ) — AT&T and Cricket Wireless announced open enrollment for the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which lowers the monthly cost of broadband services for eligible customers.

The long-term $14 billion ACP replaces the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to help ensure that more Americans can afford the broadband services they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

“Affordability is one of the key roadblocks to narrowing the digital divide,” AT&T wrote in a statement. “The ACP will provide customers with federal benefits that can be applied to home internet or wireless services from AT&T and Cricket Wireless.”

What`s new?

Under the ACP, it’s reported that the maximum monthly benefit will change to up to $30 per month for eligible households. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

Existing EBB customers will continue to receive monthly benefits of up to $50 per month through March 1.

Additionally, households will have new ways to quality for ACP, such as receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

More eligibility requirements for ACP can be found online by clicking here.

When does this change take effect?

AT&T said new customers can confirm eligibility with the National Verifier and enroll in the ACP today. EBB enrollment ended Dec. 30.

I`m currently receiving the EBB. What do I need to do?

Your current benefit will remain the same through March 1, according to AT&T. To receive ACP benefit after March 1, you may be contacted by the Universal Service Administrative Co. to re-verify your eligibility.

If you qualified under the EBB COVID-19 temporary loss of income criteria, the National Verifier will need to reverify your eligibility under different criteria prior to March 1.

“The main thing to remember is that the monthly subsidy will decrease from the EBB program’s $50 maximum to up to $30 under the ACP on March 1,” AT&T said.

I never participated in the EBB. How do I enroll in the ACP?

Step 1: Apply to the federal government’s National Verifier to determine if you are eligible for ACP. (note: Eligibility is determined by the federal government, not AT&T. You may get approved online in just a few minutes, though it could take up to a few days if an application requires a manual review.)

Step 2: Once approved, you will be able to order new AT&T Internet or prepaid wireless service, or have the benefit applied to your existing service. More details on the process will be available on AT&T’s website.

What AT&T and Cricket Wireless services are eligible for the benefit?

More details on which AT&T services are available by visiting AT&T’s website under ACP or on Cricket Wireless’s website under ACP. There, you can find out about their home internet services as well as their prepaid wireless services.

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