We are pleased to announce TWO federal relief programs available for discounts on your monthly phone and internet bills.
Together, both programs can reduce your monthly telephone and internet bill by almost $40 and only one single application to determine financial eligibility is needed.
PROGRAM #1: Lifeline
Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of internet bills for eligible low-income subscribers. If you qualify you will receive up to $9.25 discounted from your monthly internet bill.
We are offering this program in partnership with WhipCity Fiber (based out of Westfield, MA) Here is where to apply:
All of your bills will continue to come from ShutesburyNET. It is only the Lifeline program administration part that is being handled by Whip City Fiber. There is no additional cost to you for applying or participating.
Within 30 days of submitting your application you'll get an email from us that will tell you your status. If you are eligible you will see a $9.25 reduction in the next month's bill.
Your monthly $9.25 discount will continue every year. Lifeline will conduct a check annually to make sure you still qualify for the benefit by checking national low-income program databases. If they are unable to confirm your eligibility through this check they will send a letter in the mail asking you to provide more information.
PROGRAM #2: Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new federal program that will provide a discount of up to $30 per month towards broadband internet service for eligible households.
If you apply for Lifeline (above) and are eligible for Lifeline benefits you will automatically qualify for ACP benefits. You will receive an email from asking for your permission to apply for these benefits on your behalf. You do not have to submit a second application. After that, you will automatically be enrolled in ACP and you will see a $30 discount on your next bill.
If you already know you are not eligible for Lifeline or simply would like to apply for only ACP benefits you can do so here: https://acpbenefit.org/
(If you are ONLY applying for ACP and not Lifeline, after your application is approved, you must contact Customer Support at 855-415-7592 . You can also do this if you an existing Lifeline subscriber already.)
There is no expiration date set for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at this time.
Do you have more questions? Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.
All the best,
Your ShutesburyNET Team
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I combine both benefit programs?
YES! If you qualify you can receive a discount of $9.25 plus $30 for a total of $39.25 off each month’s bill by submitting just one single application.
What if I submit an application and I don’t qualify for Lifeline but I still want to try to qualify for ACP?
If you receive notification after applying to Lifeline that you are not eligible for that program, we will send you further instructions for how to re-apply for just ACP benefits. If you already know you are not eligible for Lifeline and would like to apply directly and only for ACP you can do so here: https://acpbenefit.org/
How long do the benefits last?
Lifeline is available for 12 months and then can continue on an annual basis as long as you continue to qualify.
ACP is a $14 billion dollar long-term federal program created by congress. There is no expiration date set for it at this time.
Who is eligible for Lifeline?
To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must be receiving internet and/or phone service and have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs.
Who is eligible for ACP?
A household is eligible if a member of the household is paying for monthly internet service and meets one of the criteria below:
-Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline
-Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 school year;
-Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
Please check the ACP website for more eligibility guidelines: https://acpbenefit.org/do-i-qualify/
I heard there is a one-time discount for buying a laptop, desktop or computer of $100? How can I take advantage of this?
We can’t offer this part of the benefit. We can only offer the monthly fee discount.
Where can I learn more about these programs?
The Federal Communications Commission has lots of information on their websites about each program.
To learn more about ACP please visit: https://acpbenefit.org/
To learn more about Lifeline please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers
Can I submit a paper application instead of an online application?
Yes! Processing your application will take a little longer but you can apply via mail instead of online if you'd like. Click the links below to download a printable application for each program.
Lifeline paper application: LI_Application_NVstates.pdf
Download the ACP paper application from this site: https://acpbenefit.org/how-to-apply/