CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program: Internet Access for Low-Income People

The Internet has opened a new world to all of us. It brings a lot of opportunities with various services for us. In our everyday life, we cannot but use the Internet. It helps us to improve our quality of life. For jobs, education, health care, shopping, entertainment, in a word every sector in our life, now we depend on the Internet. Today we cannot be able to do our everyday work without internet connectivity. It is now a part and parcel of our daily life.

It is not so easy to be connected and use the internet by the low–income people. They feel that the internet is essential for them. But for low-income, most of them cannot afford high cost high speed internet. The cost of the internet, like many other things increases day by day. But low-income people have to spend all their money to struggle to survive. The small amount they can save is not enough to afford costly high-speed internet packages. These are the challenges that low–income people face in affording the internet. 

To save them from this critical situation, the government takes some vital steps in hand. This need is the main cause for the creation of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for low-income people. This program provides low-income people affordable internet if they qualify. To assist the government to achieve this goal some service providers come forward. CenturyLink is such a telecommunication provider. CenturyLink works with the government Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) hand in hand to reach high-speed internet services to the low-income people of the United States.

Know About Government Affordable Connectivity Program And CenturyLink

CenturyLink provides low-income households with high-speed unlimited internet access at a very cheap and affordable price. For this CenturyLink takes part in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Their involvement with Affordable Connectivity Program helps households with low income to remain connected to essential Communication services. The CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program offers a $30 discount per month towards your internet bills and a $75 discount per month for qualified Tribal Households. You or your household can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 towards purchasing a tablet. Laptop, or desktop computer.

Benefits of CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

CenturyLink plays a vital role in managing affordable internet for those who are struggling to make ends meet and do not have the means to pay for costly monthly internet plans.

CenturyLink tries their best to make the internet available for all the citizens of the United States and also tries to ensure that all people may be able to access internet service with ease and at an affordable cost.

CenturyLink offers benefits such as :

  1. No credit check or service deposit is required.
  2. No long-term contracts are needed.
  3. Automatic bill payment is available.
  4. 24/7 technical support.
  5. Option to upgrade to faster speeds at any time.

CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) helps people in rural and underprivileged areas. It helps them to search for jobs. Also provide them with information about housing, education, medical services, shopping, and so on. It offers many affordable discounted plans for low-income people. Depending on your budget or needs you can choose from a variety of plans.

Installation of the Internet: CenturyLink charges a small amount of one-time charge for the Technical installation of the High-Speed Internet to your house.

Step 1: To Get CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program Benefits, Fulfil Your Eligibility Requirements

If you qualify with the following requirements, then you are eligible for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program:

  • Eligibility Based on your Income: You can qualify for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits if your or your household’s income is 200% or less than the federal poverty guideline.
  • Participation-Based Eligibility: If you or one of your household members participates in one of the following programs, then you are eligible for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program.
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA).
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
    • Medicaid.
    • Free or Reduced-price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, at U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) Community Eligibility Provision Schools in the 2021-22, 2020-21, or 2019-20,  School year.
    • Acquired a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC (women, infants, and children).
  • Tribal Assistance Program: If you live in the qualifying Tribal Lands, then you can be eligible for ACP if your or your household’s income equals or less than 200% of the Federal poverty guidelines or if you or a member of your household takes part in: 
    • Any of the above-mentioned Federal Assistance Programs.
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
    • Tribal TANF.
    • Head Start (Only Households meeting the income qualifying standard).
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • If you already have Lifeline Benefits: Lifeline is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Program that makes communication services affordable for low–income families. If you are qualified or eligible for the lifeline, then you are automatically qualified or eligible for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Step 2: Prepare Your Documents For Apply CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

To be approved by the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) you need to submit these documents as proof of your Identity, Address, Participation in the Federal Government Assistance Program, proof of Income, etc. You have to prepare all these documents before applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Let’s know what documents and information are needed.

1. Proof of participation in the Federal assistance program or Income Eligibility

To prove that you take part in the Federal Government Assistance programs mentioned earlier in the article, you have to submit the following documents as proof:

  1. An approval or benefits letter for SNAP or Medicaid.
  2. Screenshot of the online portal.
  3. Survivors benefit summary letter.

Check that your documents have the following information:

  • Your name, or your dependent’s name.
  • The name of the qualifying program.
  • The name of the Government or Tribal Agency that issued the document.
  • An issued date within the last 12 months or future expiration date.

2. If you participate in an education-related Qualifying Program

  1. A letter from the school or school district that confirms a member of the household receives free or reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast for the current year or school year immediately preceding the application.
  2. For enrollment in a CEP school- school documentation demonstrating the student is enrolled in a CEP school for the relevant school year.
  3. For Federal Pell Grants, written confirmation from a student’s school or the Department of Education that the student has received a Pell Grant for the current award year.

Check that your documents have the following information:

  • Your or your dependent’s first and last name.
  • Name of the qualifying program (not required for community eligibility provision).
  • Name of the school or school district.
  • A current award year (For Pell Grant).
  • Dated for the current school year or the school year immediately preceding the application (for school lunch or breakfast qualifying program).
  • Address and contact information for the school, and school year for which the student is enrolled.

3. If you qualify through Income

If you qualify through income, then the following documents are needed:

  1. Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return.
  2. Social Security Benefit statement.

Check that the documents have the following information:

  • Your name, or your dependent’s name.
  • Current income information.
  • If you provide pay stubs, then you have to submit three consecutive months of pay stubs.
  • An issued date within the last 12 months or prior year tax document.

4. To prove your Address

To prove the valid address you have to submit the following documents:

  1. Map that shows your physical address or location.
  2. Official documents that show your name and address, such as driver’s license; valid government, state, or Tribal ID; utility bill excluding wireless phone bills (within the last 30 days), w-2 or tax return, mortgage or lease document.

You have to submit a completed ACP Household Worksheet.

5. Proof of Date of Birth

Provide a copy of an official, unexpired document that has:

  1. Your First and Last name
  2. Your Date of Birth.

Examples of such Documents:

  • Government, military, state, or Tribal ID.
  • Driver’s License.
  • Birth Certificate.
  • Certificate of U.S. citizenship or Naturalization.
  • Permanent Resident Card or Green Card.
  • Government Assistance Program Document.

6. Proof of SSN4 or Tribal ID

If you provided the last four digits of your social security number or Full Tribal ID with your application, provide a copy of an official document that has:

  1. Your First and Last name.
  2. The last 4 digits of your social security number or your Full Tribal ID (Please mark out all but the last four digits of your SSN).

Examples include:

  • Social Security Card.
  • Prior year’s tax return or w-2.
  • Government Assistance Program Document.
  • Taxpayer Identification Document. 
  • Unemployment/ Worker’s Compensation Statement.

7. To prove your Identity

You have to submit the following documents to prove your Identity:

  1. Government, military, state, or tribal ID.
  2. Driver’s License.
  3. Government Assistance Program Document.
  4. Birth Certificate.
  5. Social Security card.
  6. Prior year’s tax return, or w-2.

Your submitted Documents must have the following information:

  • Your First and Last name.
  • Your Date of Birth.
  • The last 4 digits of your social security number or your full Tribal ID.

8. You also need to prove that you are alive

To prove that you are alive, provide one document that: 

  • Confirms your First and Last name.
  • Shows life activity within the last three months.

Examples of such documents:

  1. Government Assistance Program Documents.
  2. Current Utility Bill.
  3. Current Income Statement such as a pay stub.
  4. Current mortgage or lease statement.
  5. Current Retirement/ Pension statement of benefits.
  6. Current unemployment statement of benefits.

Final Step: Enroll in The CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program And Apply For Service

First, check that you are eligible for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). If you are already a subscriber of Lifeline, then you can directly enroll in the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). You do not need to apply again. 

There are 3 ways to apply for CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program:

  1. Online: You can enroll online. Just Go To: affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply/ . It will take you to ACP’s official website. From this website, you can directly fill up the FCC’s National Verifier form. Fill up all the required fields and then submit.
  2. Via Mail: From the ACP’s official website, you can print out an application in English or Spanish as your requirement. You also need to print out the household worksheet and fill it out and attach it with the application. Now, send the completed application, along with the completed household worksheet and all the copies of your proof documentation to: “ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742”.
  3. Apply Through CenturyLink: As CenturyLink participates in Affordable Connectivity Program(ACP), you can also apply through their application process. You can take full assistance from a representative to successfully apply for the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

After the submission of your application with all the necessary documents and proof, the FCC will inform you if you are eligible for or meet all the requirements of the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

You May Consider Other Options For Affordable Internet Service, If Your Application ACP Is Rejected

If you cannot qualify for the CenturyLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and also not in a condition to afford expensive internet, then do not get upset. Some well-known internet service providers offer cheap internet connections for as low as $9.95 a month.

Such internet plans with their providers are mentioned briefly below:

  1. Comcast’s Internet Essentials:  Comcast comes with its low-income internet assistance service called internet essentials. If you live in an area that is covered by Comcast, then you can get their service Internet Essentials for just $9.95 per month. Despite the low price, you will get a blazing fast 5.0 Mbps and also an option to purchase a computer for only $150. Comcast will not charge any activation fees or any additional equipment fees. If any child in your household is eligible to receive a reduced or free school lunch through the National School Lunch Program, then you are eligible to get their service.
  2. Cox’s low-income internet: Cox Communications is one of the nation’s largest cable companies, with millions of subscribers. Cox’s low-income internet plan will give you unlimited cable internet at a broadband speed of 5Mbps download. They require no contract and no extra fees. Only$9.95 per month. They also offer their valued customers an option to purchase a computer for only$150. If any child in your household is eligible for receiving a free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program, then you are able to get their service.
  3. Bright House Networks Low-Income Internet: Bright House offers unlimited cable internet at 1 Mbps speed for $9.95 a month for low-income people. They require no contract and no charge. Additionally, they offer an option to purchase a computer for only $150. If any child in your household is eligible for the National School Lunch program and if you live in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, or Michigan, then you can take the opportunity of the Bright House Networks Low-income Internet.
  4. Connect 2 Compete: Many large companies work with Connect 2 Compete to bring low-cost, high-speed internet service to low-income people. Connect2 Compete tries to connect low-income people with various companies that provide high-speed internet at a very low cost, usually under $10 per month. They also work to provide low–priced computers for U.S. citizens and spreads digital literacy to low-income communities across the country.

Community Resources Such as Schools and Libraries

During the pandemic, all the students were doing their schooling online. It is the fact for the fortunate. Many students do not have internet connectivity or even a tablet to go on with their studies. Considering their problems, some internet providers come forward to help these students. They try to give computers and internet services to many schools and also try to involve students in using the internet. In today’s education system school classes require home access to computers to do all homework properly. And high-speed internet is essential for school-going children. Unfortunately, many low-income families cannot afford internet connectivity or even a tablet computer. So, think, how can these children learn the skills they need in an increasingly developed Technological World if they do not have access to computers and free high-speed internet? How can they succeed in an increasingly developed digital world? How can they escape poverty in the 21st century if they only learn to use 20th-century tools?

CenturyLink always feels the problems of low-income people and their beloved children. CenturyLink can realize the importance of the school and the home as places for learning; and works to enrich students’ opportunities by creating a stronger connection between home and school, providing low-cost internet. CenturyLink hopes that the opportunity of low–income internet will spread all over the U.S. and make the dream a reality.

Like the school, computers and internet facilities also need to be widened to all the school libraries to ensure that students can enrich themselves with knowledge. To do so, we need to establish a vital connection between libraries and students and it can only be possible when we can ensure low-cost high-speed internet for all.

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program takes the lead in making the internet affordable and available for low-income people. And CenturyLink is always with the government to help in achieving the goal. It tries its best to give its customers as many discounts as possible. CenturyLink believes that the day is not far when all the citizens of our country afford to access high speed internet and make their life happy and glorious.