KSDE Weekly

Feature Story

Kansas Corporation Commission offers information on Affordable Connectivity Plan

The Kansas Corporation Commission this week is joining utility regulatory commissions nationwide in observing Digital Connectivity and Lifeline Awareness Week. 

Linda Berry, director of public affairs and consumer protection for the Kansas Corporation Commission, realizes how difficult it would be to communicate with schools, health care providers, community resources and emergency services without telephone or internet access. Yet, there are people who can’t afford these services. 

Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Plan are currently helping about 150,000 Kansans access these services, and even more are eligible, Berry said. 

“I would like to enlist the help of you and your staff in sharing this information with families who could benefit from it,” she said. 

Information about the plan is available below and on the KCC’s website

The Lifeline program provides eligible low-income families and individuals with federal and state discounts of up to $17.02 per month on phone (wireless or residential) and broadband. The Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP) provides a monthly internet service discount of up to $30 and a one-time device discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. 

Eligibility is based on income (at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for Lifeline or at or below 200% for ACP) or participation in certain assistance programs, such as: 

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  • Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FHPA) 
  • Veterans Pension & Survivors Pension Benefit 
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance 
  • Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
  • Head Start Tribal Programs (income based) 
  • The Food Distribution Program on Tribal Lands 

Anyone who qualifies for Lifeline is automatically eligible to participate in ACP. Others may still qualify for ACP if they meet any of the following criteria: 

  • Are approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including the USDA Community Eligibility Provision. 
  • Received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year. 
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program. 

Due to higher income maximums, ACP also has the potential to help families that may not qualify for other types of assistance. The maximum income for a family of four to qualify for the ACP program is $60,000 per year compared to $40,500 for Lifeline. Both Lifeline and ACP offer additional discounts for subscribers living on tribal lands. 

For more information, contact Berry at l.berry@kcc.ks.gov

Posted: Sep 14, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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