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About the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

More information can be found through the FCC website here

 

How to Apply

Who can apply?

Consumer requirements include:

    • A family income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
    • A family that is participating in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, etc
    • A family that is receiving benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast programs
    • If a family member has received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year
    • A family which meets the eligibility criteria for another provider’s existing programs

A household which has even one member who qualifies may apply for the ACP!

 

How do I apply?

You can submit your application online through the USAC here, and while response times will vary, you may receive approval in as little as a day.

 

My application was accepted, now what?

Please contact billing@heliobroadband.com with your Application ID number and birthdate (we know, it’s odd, but it’s required for our enrollment form), and our billing department will get you enrolled!

 

I applied for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program before Helio was participating! 

Awesome! You would have received an Application ID at the time you were accepted, please send that over to us and we’ll take care of the rest. The EBB was the first draft of the ACP, so they are very similar, and your application can be transferred without issue.

 

Can I receive ACP benefits from more than one place once enrolled?

No, and the program is very strict about this. Your monthly benefits can only be applied to one place at a time, and there are companies which don’t advertise that your benefits would transfer to them if you sign up. See the Warning* below for details.

 

Billing

How much assistance will I get for my internet?

The ACP will provide up to $30 of relief per enrolled Helio connection! This means:

    • 100Mb will go from $45/mo to $15/mo
    • 1Gb will go from $89/mo to $59/mo

 

How will my assistance be applied?

Your relief will be applied directly to your account through the FCC’s deposit to Helio.

 

When paying for my portion, what should I do?

Your payment should be applied to one invoice at a time. This means that you’ll pay $15 on February, and then $15 on March, or you’ll pay $59 on November, and $59 on December, and so on. While enrolled, please do not make two payments to the same invoice. This will help us keep track of where your assistance is being applied.

 

Can I set up my minimum payments to be automatic? 

Unfortunately, no. Our system runs AutoPay every morning, and will apply your card on file to any remaining balances. You will need to turn off AutoPay while enrolled in the ACP.

 

My monthly invoice is still showing the full $45 (or $89)!

Yep! And you are only responsible for your reduced portion of it! While this may change as we get as used to the process, right now we have to still show the full invoice in order to apply the assistance payments.

 

I was accepted to the ACP before Helio was participating. Do I get backpay to my application acceptance date?

No, the ACP is only affording assistance to current and future invoices from the day you become enrolled under Helio.

 

 

Customer Responsibilities

Who is responsible for the remaining balance?

You are! The remaining balance is the responsibility of the customer, and is subject to our Terms and Conditions as usual.

 

Will the ACP provide backpay for my outstanding balance?

No, the ACP is only meant to provide relief for current invoices. Any balance accrued prior to enrollment is still your responsibility.

 

What if I still can’t make payments while enrolled?

You will still be responsible for outstanding balances outside of what relief the ACP provides. This includes any missed payments during enrollment.

 

Will my service be disconnected while I’m enrolled?

No, we cannot disconnect you while you’re enrolled. However, your service speeds can be downgraded to 10Mb if we feel you’re struggling to make payments on your current rate. Any missed payments that you are responsible for, even while enrolled with the ACP, are still subject to our Terms and Conditions.

 

My service was disconnected anyway! Aah!! 

Oh no! Unfortunately, it can sometimes happen. Please contact billing@heliobroadband.com and we will assist in reinstating your service manually. If you are disconnected after regular business hours or over the weekend, please check here for network outages in your area.

 

 

Additional Warning:

Companies are offering a free phone or device if I’m an ACP subscriber! 

The most famous of these companies is Q-Link Wireless. What these companies will not say is that the device isn’t free – it is being paid for by your monthly ACP assistance. Because you can only receive funds in one place at a time, companies like Q-Link will transfer your account to their name, so you would no longer receive assistance for Helio invoices. In order to transfer your benefits back to Helio, you will have to either:

  • Pay for your device in full,
  • Return your device to the company, or,
  • Pay back the use of your device thus far and then return it.

Once this has been done, Helio can only transfer your membership back to us after 30 days from the initial transfer to Q-Link Wireless (or a similar company). This means that your account will not be able to be claimed for assistance during that month, and your full Helio invoice will be your responsibility. Because we are not notified of this transfer, we are not likely to catch your lapse in membership until the beginning of the following month when we are processing claims, which could result in up to a two-month delay in transferring your account back to Helio.

 

 

Misc.

When do our payments come through? 

From what we’ve been seeing, payments will arrive near the end of each month, though specific dates may vary. Additionally, relief payments are issued one month behind (February assistance will arrive at the end of March, April assistance will arrive at the end of May, etc).

 

Why are there so many changes happening?

Helio is just as new to the ACP process as you are! We’re going to be experiencing changes and hiccups as we navigate this, but it’s worth it to us to make sure you’re getting the best chance for affordable and quality internet.

 

I have a question that isn’t listed here!

Go ahead and reach out to our billing department at billing@heliobroadband.com or call (971) 256-4300. We should have all the answers you’ll need, or ways to find out if we don’t!