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Affordability

Broadband connectivity goes beyond the poles and wires across communities.  To ensure access, individuals must be able to access broadband service.  Access includes financial affordability, access to equipment, and support for training to use digital services. 

 

More information on MCA’s broader work to ensure digital equity for all is available on our digital equity initiatives page.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a $14.2 billion federal program that helps

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Funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the ACP provides eligible households with a 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. 

families and households who are struggling to afford internet service. 

ACP4ME Campaign

The ACP4ME campaign is Maine Connectivity Authority’s new statewide initiative to increase awareness and enrollment into the ACP. In Maine, 238,717 households are eligible for the ACP, yet only 92,284 (38.7% of those eligible) have enrolled (as of September 19, 2023).

 

In partnership with Education SuperHighway, a national non-profit working to close the broadband affordability gap, we are building a statewide coalition of local communities and trusted institutions to raise awareness of this critical program through earned and social media. We are asking you to leverage your networks to increase awareness of ACP. 

As part of the broader ACP4ME campaign, MCA organized a statewide Week of Action to increase awareness of and enrollment in the ACP from August 4-12, 2023. There were no less than 18 in-person ACP enrollment events across the state, countless engagements online and on social media, and the ACP was featured on three local news outlets. While it is important to celebrate progress in getting more people aware of and enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, we also recognize that the work isn't done yet!

ACP4ME Logo
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ACP Enrollment Data by County

County
# of Eligible Households
Total Enrollments pre-April
Enrollments in April
Enrollments in May
Enrollments in June
Enrollments in July
Total Enrollments To-Date
% of Enrolled Households
Androscoggin
21,667
9,641
360
438
344
344
11,127
51.35%
Aroostook
14,933
5,887
337
282
253
210
6,969
46.67%
Cumberland
43,042
12,490
606
656
473
298
14,523
33.74%
Franklin
6,812
1,353
86
70
91
65
1,665
24.44%
Hancock
11,177
2,348
130
125
116
69
2,788
24.94%
Kennebec
22,891
9,252
391
481
347
300
10,771
47.05%
Knox
6,606
1,927
106
81
93
41
2,248
34.03%
Lincoln
6,536
1,560
97
100
76
64
1,897
29.02%
Oxford
11,315
4,372
217
241
200
161
5,191
45.88%
Penobscot
30,481
10,432
489
496
469
366
12,252
40.20%
Piscataquis
4,815
992
50
49
71
48
1,210
25.13%
Sagadahoc
4,789
970
54
47
32
20
1,123
23.45%
Somerset
9,594
3,497
153
162
155
84
4,051
42.22%
Waldo
5,999
1,886
93
107
105
53
2,244
37.41%
Washington
8,687
2,226
134
140
140
92
2,732
31.45%
York
29,373
7,774
421
490
422
250
9,357
31.86%
TOTAL
238,717
76,607
3,724
3,965
3,387
2,465
90,148
37.76%

*Please note that County-level data is not updated as often as state-level data by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and therefore there might be different numbers represented here than our total reporting for the state of Maine.

In preparation for Maine's ACP Week of Action, MCA hosted a series of workshops with MCA staff and other experts from around the country. Please feel free to continue using these workshops to support enrollments in the ACP. These workshops are not intended for individuals interested in enrolling in the ACP. MCA would be happy to connect individuals with our partners across Maine that are conducting direct ACP enrollment.

Common ACP enrollment challenges and how to navigate them

with Tsion Tesfaye, Senior Research and Policy Manager with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Watch the Recording

 

Bring your ACP questions Q&A

with Tsion Tesfaye, Senior Research and Policy Manager with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Watch the Recording

 

Resources for spreading awareness and enrolling Mainers in ACP

with Ellen Goldich, Senior Program Director with EducationSuperHighway

Watch the Recording

ACP Workshop Archive

In-Person ACP Enrollment and Awareness Events

Households are eligible if the annual income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, if anyone already receives Lifeline, or if you participate in one of these programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps

  • Medicaid

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) (including Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers), Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/202/811, Public Housing, and Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians)

  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit

  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year

ACP Eligibility Requirements

ACP Eligibility
ACP Week of Action
ACP4ME Campaign
Workshop Archive
ACP Data by County
ACP Partners

ACP Partners in Maine

Apart from the resources above, we also have a network of Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners equipped to help people enroll in the ACP, and four organizations in Maine which received Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program grants through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 

Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners are tagged in blue pins, Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program awardees are tagged in yellow stars (three out of the four awardees are also Regional & Tribal Broadband Partners).

 

Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program awardees include the Aroostook County Action Corporation, Four Directions Development Corporation, the National Digital Equity Center, and the Sunrise County Economic Council. Click here to open an interactive version of the map, including contact information for each partner.

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