EducationSuperHighway has released LearnACP, a new training course and certification for states, cities, and community-based organizations working to increase awareness and adoption of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The new training is offered for free by the national non-profit and is designed to prepare individuals who support potential beneficiaries to determine if they qualify for the program, complete the application, and enroll in an affordable internet plan.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages age- and dementia friendly community stakeholders to promote this opportunity to connect older adults in internet access.
The ACP is a $14.2 billion federal broadband benefit funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 per month (up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands) and a one-time $100 discount toward a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. 51.6 million U.S. households are eligible for the ACP, including 17.7 million unconnected households, yet only 30% of those eligible have enrolled.
EducationSuperHighway has identified the ACP enrollment process as a significant challenge for eligible households signing up using the ACP’s National Verifier application system. Forty-five percent of applications are rejected, and many more fail to complete the 30- to 45-minute enrollment process.
LearnACP takes 45-60 minutes to complete, providing enrollment advocates with a comprehensive understanding of the adoption process to confidently answer questions and support eligible individuals. Those who enroll will learn how the ACP can help households get connected, who is eligible, and how to:
- Navigate the ACP application with screen-by-screen guidance, tips, and advice on special considerations.
- Apply the applicant’s ACP benefit with an internet service provider.
- Assist special populations, including Tribal communities, undocumented, and houseless individuals, through the application process.
- Access resources to use when assisting your community members in enrolling in the ACP and avoiding common pitfalls.
Upon completion of the course, users receive a certificate of completion, creating a community of trained ACP enrollment specialists nationwide that are critical to increasing ACP enrollment and closing the broadband affordability gap. LearnACP adds to EducationSuperHighway’s growing ecosystem of tools and resources designed to equip partners to raise awareness and drive enrollment in the ACP:
- GetACP.org — A multilingual, virtual mobile assistant that helps applicants find out if they’re eligible for the ACP, determine the easiest way to qualify, identify documents they’ll need for the application, and find broadband plans in their area.
- PromoteACP — A free resource hub of downloadable marketing materials, outreach templates, and toolkits, developed based on partner and consumer feedback.
- ACP Enrollment Dashboard — An easy-to-navigate dashboard of the most up-to-date state and city data on the number of ACP-eligible households, the number that have enrolled, and the number that still lack a high-speed home connection.
- ACP Adoption Toolkit for Local Leaders — A step-by-step guide to convening trusted community partners to drive local action. The toolkit contains outreach templates, training materials, and best practices to help cities launch ACP awareness campaigns.
- ACP Adoption Toolkit for School Districts — Tools and resources to help school districts promote the ACP to students and their families and provide eligibility documentation that can help them enroll.
The course launches as a diverse group of governmental and non-governmental organizations and trusted community messengers have applied for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program. LearnACP will provide these groups with a critical resource to deliver the program’s goal of expanding national ACP awareness efforts, and strengthening enrollment partners and their activities. Learn more at www.educationsuperhighway.org/learnacp.