FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Transitioning to Affordable Connectivity Program. Learn More >

Lifeline Program

Important News:

Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a new $14 billion program that will replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB). The ACP is a longer-term FCC program to help households afford broadband internet service. Any consumers enrolled in the EBB Program before 6 p.m. ET on December 30th, 2021, will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during a 60-day transition period that runs through March 1st, 2022.

What are the changes?

After the 60-day transition, the monthly benefit will be reduced from up to $50 to up to $30. Households located on Tribal lands will continue to receive up to $75 per month.

There will be new ways in which a household can qualify for the ACP such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Households that qualified for the EBB due to substantial decrease of income related to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's COVID-19 program, will need to re-qualify for the ACP.

The ACP discount will be available on any broadband internet service offering, allowing a customer to switch service offerings at any time.

For more information, please visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit


Lifeline is a non-transferable government benefit program that provides monthly discounts on one telephone service (landline or wireless) or eligible broadband service for qualified low-income consumers in every state, territory, and commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. You must be eligible to enroll, and you must recertify your eligibility every year. Federal rules prohibit eligible consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline service per household.

Am I Eligible?

An individual may be eligible for the program-supported service if he or she has a household income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or if they receive benefits from one of the following qualifying programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Program
  • Medicaid

Consumers residing on Tribal lands may be eligible for program-supported service if their household income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, if they participate in one of the five federal programs listed in the left column, or in one of the following programs:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance
  • Tribal-administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Tribal Head Start (only those households meeting income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

How To Apply

Consumers must apply for lifeline support through the National Verifier (NV). The NV is a centralized system that determines whether subscribers are eligible for lifeline. The NV is managed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

Consumers can apply through the NV at checklifeline.org or can submit a paper application along with supporting documentation to the lifeline support center. The mailing address for the support center is provided on the application.

NDTC is no longer able to accept forms or documentation to determine eligibility for the lifeline program. NDTC does have resources available at our office for consumers to access the NV Online.

Once a customer is accepted in the NV, they will need to contact NDTC to be enrolled in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) and credits will then be applied to their service.

For More Information

More information about eligibility and how to apply for benefits is available with the Universal Service Administrative Company. You may also call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 or NDTC at 662-1100. North Dakota Telephone Company’s telephone service and broadband internet services are Lifeline and Link Up supported services.

Link Up

Link Up reduces the cost of initiating new service to eligible residents of Tribal lands at the subscriber’s principal place of residence. Consumers can receive a 100% discount off of the one-time costs of initiating service. Link Up is a one-time benefit per address; subscribers can request Link Up once for each change of address. Broadband data only service is not eligible for Link Up assistance.

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