The 7 Service Providers with ACP Free Tablet from Government

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When looking at the difference between lifeline and ACP, we saw you can get service discount from even the main carriers. AT&T and its MVNO Cricket Wireless even offer a full discount on some plans. But then, can you get an ACP free tablet from government through these premium carriers? And if yes, what type of tablet can I expect?

ACP is simply the affordable connectivity program the government created to help low-income consumers afford an internet connection. Most of the providers participating in the program only offer a discount on the service. But there are others you can also get a discount on a connected device.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states the discount on a connected device can be on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. However, many of the eligible providers you’ll find online usually give a tablet.

What’s the Difference between ACP and EBB Free Tablet from Government

Mission-wise, there’s no difference between ACP and EBB programs. EBB or Emergency Broadband Benefit was the first program the government came up with to provide internet discounts.

The plans for this broadband benefit began back in December 2020 with the establishment of a $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund in the U.S. Treasury. The broadband benefit wasn’t available for use until May 2021, though.

The FCC authorized the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to administer the EBB. But instead of receiving the benefit as a monthly check, you would have to apply for a broadband connection. Then USAC would reimburse the amount of the discount on your service to the provider.

At the time, the total discount you would receive with EBB was $50 (or $75 if on tribal lands). There was also that one-time discount of up to $100 on the connected device, albeit with a co-payment of $10.01 to $49.99.

The $10.01 is the exact amount the eligible telecommunication carrier (ETC) would request when you apply for the free tablet with EBB. They would send an invoice either with the device or through email.

Near the end of 2021, Congress passed a bill of $14.1 billion to create a more long-term affordable connectivity program (ACP).

While the funds for the new connectivity program were over 400% more than that of EBB, the oversight commission reduced the broadband discount. If on a non-tribal region, you would now get $30 (instead of $50) off your broadband service. Only those on tribal lands continued to get a $75 discount on their internet service.

As for the one-time discount on connected devices, everyone eligible for the ACP benefit still gets up to $100.

Is the ACP Free Tablet from Government Worth it?

First, the ACP free tablet from the government isn’t exactly “Free”. The $10.01 co-payment fee that was with EBB also applies here. But are the ten bucks worth it?

Well, the discounted tablet is at least an 8-inch model from all the participating providers. And with the super-wide touch screen, you can enjoy functions like streaming, gaming, or reading much better than on the smartphone.

Performance-wise, though, I’ve noticed only Cintex Wireless and the other HTH Communications companies have decent models of the free tablet. At this moment, they have a stock of Apple iPad 4/ 3/ Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3/ S2/ A 2020, Alcatel Joy Tab, et cetera.

ACP Free Tablet from Government
Apple Ipad 4

In most of the other lifeline companies that give a free tablet, you get entry-level models that don’t exactly have the best specs. Say TruConnect, high chances are that you will get the Cloud Mobile Sunshine Elite tablet, which has 16GB of built-in memory and 2GB RAM.

In other cases, you can get a free Sky Devices government tablet. Like Standup Wireless was giving out the Sky Devices Elite OctaX with 32GB/ 1GB memory early last year. But they have recently upgraded to Sky Devices Elite T8 tablet, with 32GB/ 2GB memory, which isn’t too bad.

Sadly, these entry-level tablets usually have a relatively slow processor. You may find it tricky to work on heavy tasks without issues like overheating or lagging.

Application for the ACP Free Tablet from Government

Although the ACP free tablet is available to every American, not just anyone gets to receive one. You’ll not even pass the first step of the application if you don’t have the right eligibility requirement.

The main requirement for the connectivity benefit is that you should have a low income or participate in either of the ACP-eligible government assistance programs.

If applying with the low-income criteria, the rule is that your total household amount must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Then with the requirement of a government-funded assistance program, you will need to participate in either:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Pensions & Survivors Benefit
  • Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance Program (FPHA)
  • Food Stamp or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Head Start, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, and other Tribal programs
  • School Lunch or School Breakfast Program (even from the USDA Community Eligibility Provision)

If already receiving a free cell phone service with a lifeline carrier, you automatically qualify for ACP benefits. You actually get the best monthly service allowances with a lifeline + ACP combo.

Proof of Eligibility for the ACP Free Tablet From the Government

If you pass either of the above requirements, you can now apply for the ACP benefit with your preferred service provider. However, the service provider can’t just take your word for it. They will need official proof that confirms your eligibility, as well as your identity and address.

Proof of Identity:

The providers of ACP will need to know you’re exactly who you say on the application form. They will need an official document with your full name and date of birth. Such a document can be a valid ID card, passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, Green card, et cetera.

Tip: if enrolling for the ACP benefit as a minor under 18 years old, you will need proof of your emancipation status. The proof can be an official court document or an emancipation certificate.

Proof of Physical Address:

Besides the identity, the ACP providers will need to verify your current residence. You must provide an official document with your full name (that you’ve used in applying) and your physical address.

Some of the documents that qualify here are a valid driver’s license, utility bill, tax return, lease or mortgage statement, and others.

Proof of Eligibility:

The proof of eligibility is an official document that shows you qualify for the ACP with low income or government-funded assistance program.

If enrolling with the low-income requirement, you’ll need a document like a paycheck stub, tax return, or a statement of your current income from your employer. A statement from retirement/ pension benefits, Veterans Administration benefits, Social Security benefits, unemployment, or worker’s compensation benefit will work too.

If enrolling for the ACP benefits with participation in government assistance programs, you will need an official document for that. The document should have both the name of the program and the reference establishment (who issued that document). Thus, a letter of approval/verification for the program or a benefits statement will work.


If applying for ACP in person or by traditional mail, you will need a hard copy of the documents above. But only submit copies of the documents (not original), provided they’re crystal-clear and not blurry or dark.

When applying for the ACP benefits online or by phone, you will need to upload a soft copy of the necessary documents. You can get the soft copy by scanning or taking pictures with a camera or even a smartphone (as long the pictures are crystal clear).

Which Providers Have the ACP Free Tablet from Government

Now that you have the necessary copies of documents, go to either of the providers participating in ACP and apply. Keep in mind, not all the service providers with ACP are giving a free tablet.

In particular, only the lifeline providers with free touchscreen government phones seem to have discounted tablets. Some of the options I’ve been able to go through include:

  • Cintex Wireless
  •  Airtalk Wireless
  •  StandUp Wireless
  •  Easy Wireless
  • Q Link Wireless
  • TruConnect
  •  Entouch Wireless

What Kind of ACP Free Tablet from Government Do I Get?

The kind of free tablet you get with ACP benefits varies from one provider to another. As mentioned earlier, Cintex Wireless and its sisters are the only ones with decent brands, thanks to the parenthood bond with HTH Communications.

ACP Free Tablet from Government

Ps: HTH Communications is one of the top refurbishing and distribution companies in the country. And this is how its lifeline brands can give you these high-end tablets.  See the options below:

Brand of the ACP Free TabletProvided byBuilt-in MemoryScreen Size
Apple iPad 4Cintex Wireless32GB ROM, 1GB RAM8” w/ 1536 x 1024p  
Apple iPad 3Cintex Wireless32GB ROM, 1GB RAM8” w/ 1536 x 2048p  
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3Cintex Wireless32GB ROM, 4GB RAM8” w/ 1536 x 2048p  
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4AirTalk Wireless32GB ROM, 3GB RAM8” w/ 1536 x 2048p  
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2020AirTalk Wireless32GB ROM, 3GB RAM8” w/ 1200 x 1920p  
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2AirTalk Wireless32GB ROM, 3GB RAM8” w/ 1536 x 2048p  
Apple iPad MiniAirTalk Wireless32GB ROM, .5GB RAM8” w/ 768 x 1024p  
Alcatel Joy Tab 2Cintex Wireless32GB ROM, 3GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Vortex Tab 8StandUp Wireless32GB ROM, 2GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Sky Devices Elite T8 TabletStandUp Wireless32GB ROM, 2GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Sky Devices Elite T8 TabletEasy Wireless32GB ROM, 2GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Q Link Scepter 8 TabletQ Link Wireless16GB ROM, 1GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Cloud Mobile Sunshine EliteTruConnect16GB ROM, 2GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
Samsung Galaxy Tab ACintex Wireless32GB ROM, 2GB RAM10.1” w/ 800 x 1280p  
KonnectONE MoxeeAirTalk Wireless32GB ROM, 3GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
NUU Tab 8 4G LTEStandUp Wireless32GB ROM, 2GB RAM8” w/ 800 x 1280p  
  • Cintex Wireless

Cintex Wireless is the overall best provider of the ACP free tablet from the government. It’s very clear on the terms, as the website has even listed down the kind of tablet to expect once eligible for the connectivity benefit.

Some of the brands of these tablets available at the moment include:

  1. Apple iPad 4 with 32GB/ 1GB memory
  2. Apple iPad 3 with 32GB/ 1GB memory
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with 32GB/ 4GB memory
  4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 with 32GB/ 3GB memory
  5. Alcatel Joy Tab 2 with 32GB / 3GB memory
  •  AirTalk Wireless

AirTalk Wireless also has pretty great brands of tablets on its ACP benefits. The options available are about the same as you get on Cintex Wireless, including the five above. Other options available are:

  1. Apple iPad Mini with 32GB/ 0.5GB memory
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 with 32GB/ 3GB memory
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2020 with 32GB/ 3GB memory
  4. Samsung Galaxy Tab E with 16GBGB/ 1.5GB memory
  5. KonnectONE Moxee with 32GB/ 3GB memory
  •  StandUp Wireless

StandUp Wireless is the third provider you can get an ACP free tablet from the government. But unlike the HTH Communications brands Cintex and AirTalk Wireless, here you get entry-level tablets.

At the time of writing, the kind of free tablet StandUp Wireless gives you is the Sky Device Elite T8 with 32GB internal storage and 2GB RAM. If this model is unavailable, you can expect the NUU Tab 8 or Vortex Tab 8. They both also have 32GB built-in storage and 2GB RAM.

See more: AirTalk Wireless Reviews

  •  Easy Wireless

Easy Wireless is also handing out an ACP free tablet if you qualify for the benefit. The lifeline carrier has also made a deal with Sky Devices to supply the devices for their subscribers.

For instance, the service provider has been sending out the Sky Device Elite T8 tablet with 32GB internal storage and 2GB RAM. But you could get a different equivalent model if this one is unavailable.

  • Q Link Wireless

Similarly, Q Link gives free tablets from government with the ACP benefit. It was actually amongst the first to have this perk- back when the connectivity discount was with EBB.

Sadly, however, not many consumers were big fans of the Q Link tablet. The Q Link Scepter 8 (as the tablet is called) is very lacking in specs, starting with memory at 16GB/ 1GB.

  • TruConnect

TruConnect is yet another service provider you can get the free tablet if eligible for the ACP benefit. It also doesn’t have the best brands here (they currently send Cloud Mobile Sunshine Elite with 16GB built-in storage and 2GB RAM). But you can still make it work on light tasks, such as video streaming, reading, and social media.

  •  Entouch Wireless

Last but not least, EnTouch Wireless gives you a free tablet if eligible for the ACP program. I’ve not been able to find details on the exact tablet they send. But I’m assuming it has to be either of the 8-inch Sky Devices tablet since they also use the company (Sky Devices) for the lifeline phones.


You can apply for the ACP free tablet from a carrier different from the one you’re using for the lifeline. For instance, you can take advantage of the high-end tablets from Cintex, but continue getting the lifeline on SafeLink.

However, each eligible telecommunication carrier with lifeline wants you to use them for ACP benefits. The nifty trick they have used to entice with this deal is providing more service allowance on a lifeline + ACP combo plan than lifeline-only or ACP-only Packages.

Commonly Asked Questions

How many times can you use ACP?

The ACP benefit has really helped a lot of people, in particular with the current hardships. However, you can only use ACP one time per household. You won’t qualify if another member of your family you’re living with has already applied.

Did the ACP program end?

No, the ACP program end is still unclear. Some are assuming the connectivity program will end in 2024. But the truth is that even the FCC has not announced this at any point. They have just said ACP is a “long-term program”, unlike during the EBB,  where they had clearly stated it will end when COVID-19 was no longer a pandemic or after the allotted funds depleted.

How do I get $100 off a tablet with ACP?

Technically, you can get $100 off a tablet with ACP if you have proof of an income at or below 200% of the poverty guidelines. Or else you’re on a qualifying government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, Food Stamp, WIC, school lunch/ breakfast, federal grant, and others.
Once with proof of eligibility, you will then visit the website of a carrier participating in ACP and apply. You can also apply by phone or in person at authorized stores or camps outside (or nearby) social services offices.

Which tablet will I get under ACP?

The FCC provides that the tablet you will get under ACP on a $100 discount of connected device should have at least an 8-inch screen. However, the specific brand to receive varies from one provider to another:

Which tablet will I get under ACP?

The FCC provides that the tablet you will get under ACP on a $100 discount of connected device should have at least an 8-inch screen. However, the specific brand to receive varies from one provider to another:
Apple iPad 4/ 3/ Mini – from Cintex and AirTalk Wireless
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3/ S2/ 4/ A 2020- from Cintex and AirTalk Wireless
Alcatel Joy Tab 1st Generation/ 2nd generation- from Cintex and AirTalk Wireless
Sky Devices Elite T8 Tablet- from Standup Wireless and Easy Wireless
NUU Tab 8 4G LTE- from StandUp Wireless
Vortex Tab 8- from StandUp Wireless
Q Link Scepter 8 Tablet- from Q Link Wireless
Cloud Mobile Sunshine Elite- from TruConnect

Make Sure the Tablet Works in Your Area

If interested, that’s everything relevant you should know on ACP free tablet from the government. Of course, it’s not free since you must co-pay the $10.01. But the likes of Cintex and AirTalk Wireless offer even Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab on the benefit, which is worth more than ten bucks.

As you apply for the government tablet, though, don’t just focus on the specs of the device. Make sure the carrier you enroll with will work in your area. And since we’re talking about MVNOs, it means you make sure you know about the Carrier Network in use.

Otherwise, you may rush for that iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab on Cintex Wireless, yet T-Mobile has terrible coverage in your location.