As of this moment, over 9 million households have enrolled in the affordable connectivity program (ACP ). Excess Telecom is one of the service providers that you can enroll with for this program. And once approved you’ll not only enjoy the free monthly service with up to 35GB of high-speed data. There’s also the option of how to get Excess Telecom free tablet, which I intend to cover in my short guide here.
The ACP free tablet offer has been one of the most searched phrases on the web recently. And while Excess Telecom doesn’t exactly rank on the first page of the searches, it has a pretty good deal on the program. A customer representative confirmed the kind of tablet you get has up to 32/ 3GB of memory, about double Qlink’s Scepter Tab.
You may also check: How To Get Boost Mobile Free Tablet with Food Stamps
Read on the complete review for more details of the free Excess Telecom tablet and see if it’s worth getting or not.
Excess Telecom isn’t New on Free Services
If I’m right, many of us are hearing about Excess Telecom today. The following on social networks is also very low. But, surprisingly, the company is now a decade old, with its initial debut on April 2013 (my final high school year).
Excess Telecom operates from California- Beverly Hills, to be exact. Before the ACP and pre-ACP broadband benefits, it operated as an eligible telecommunication carrier (ETC) for lifeline benefits. However, it offered free lifeline phones and service only in its home state.
The Excess Wireless free phone service you’d get at the time was through Sprint towers. But when Sprint and T-Mobile merged in 2020, T-Mobile became the new Carrier Network of the MVNO.
Note: MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator (or Operators): a small phone carrier that resells a network of Major Carriers.
Excess Telecom Free Tablet with EBB
May 2021 was when the emergency broadband benefit (EBB) or pre-ACP was available to participating providers. Excess Telecom, as a California lifeline provider, was naturally qualified to participate in the program. All it had to do was to file an EBB election notice with USAC.
Even so, Excess Telecom only offered Lifephone phones from the government only in California. Thus, it needed to register with the FCC (or respective regulatory commission) for other states it needed to offer the broadband benefit.
By the time millions of people knew of the EBB program, Excess Telecom service was available in 47 states. The best part, you would get an Excess Telecom EBB tablet to enjoy with your free monthly service allotments.
Note: USAC stands for Universal Service Administrative Company, which is the institution that distributes ACP funds.
FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission, which is the government body that oversees the ACP. Its role is to implement laws and policies for the benefit, as well as make sure the allotted monies are used appropriately.
Excess Wireless Continues Free Tablet Offer with ACP
EBB was more of a temporary program intended to help victims of 2019 afford internet service. Around the end of 2021, the Biden Administration passed a bill that would see the creation of a longer-term broadband benefit.
The ACP program was the replacement for EBB, which officially launched on 31 December 2021. And as we saw on the Verizon ACP program discount guide, the new benefit was indeed a longer-term option, with about 440% more funding than EBB.
But even when the funding budget was bigger, the FCC retained the discount of the free tablet with ACP at $100 maximum. (The broadband service discount dropped from $50 (on EBB) to $30 (on ACP) for the non-tribal lands).
It’s worth noting that the phone/ internet providers who wish to participate in the ACP program must register with USAC. And this included our Excess Telecom, where it would need to file an ACP election for the few states it never had EBB.
What this simply means is that Excess Wireless offers the ACP program in all 50 states now. Then the better part, you get to qualify for a discount on both broadband service and the Excess Telecom ACP tablet.
There’s a Mandatory FCC Fee
Unfortunately, the ACP free tablet for low-income families isn’t exactly FREE. As I’ve mentioned in several related posts, there’s a small co-payment fee if you wish to get the device discount.
Excess Wireless has emphasized this “required co-payment from the subscriber between $10 and $50” on its website. The statement is as on the FCC’s affordable connectivity program policy page, albeit the carrier has hidden the exact amount they charge on their end.
Excess Wireless has hidden its $11 charge of this FCC fee deep under the terms and FAQ section. And while it’s not much, the amount is $0.99 more than the deal on Unity Wireless free tablet.
So, this now begs the question, is the discounted ACP tablet you get from Excess Telecom a dollar better than Unity’s?
What Kind of Excess Telecom Free Tablet Do I Get?
Like 90% of the companies that give discounted tablets with ACP, Excess Telecom doesn’t advertise the device brands they offer. I had a quick online chat with a customer rep, “John”. But the lad also seemed unaware, which makes me doubt if “he” is even here in the US.
When I asked about the tablet brand, he said “Apologies but we don’t have access about that information”. He then suggested, “…go to excesstelecom.com you might find what you are looking for there.”.
In any case, I happened to speak with another representative, more knowledgeable on the topic, a couple of weeks ago. And from the answer I got, the kind of tablet Excess Telecom gives you on the FREE offer is a BLU M10l Pro.
While the BLU tablet has the “Pro”, it’s still an entry-level model valued around $130 at Walmart when brand-new. It has features like:
- 4G LTE connectivity
- WiFi 4 (802.11n) protocol
- Android 12 operating system
- A 10.1-inch, HD curved display
- Mobile hotspot/ tethering option
- 32GB built-in storage & 3GB RAM
- A built-in slot for MicroSD support
- An 8MP camera that captures videos in 1080p FHD @30fps
In many ways, this tablet Excess Telecom is currently sending is similar to the OXTAB 10 from Unity Wireless. However, since the devices are from different brands, few attributes are still unique to each.
In case the BLU M10L Pro is unavailable, Excess Telecom may send you either of the tablets they offered earlier on: BLU M8L or M8L-Plus.
The two BLU M8L tablets have an 8-inch display, Android 11, plus 32GB built-in storage and 1GB RAM. Thus, you may notice them more sluggish in performance than the M10L Pro.
How To Get Excess Telecom Free Tablet?
Do you like the specs of the BLU tablet that Excess Telecom gives on the ACP program? If YES, you can go ahead and apply to get one.
The process how to get Excess Telecom free tablet is in many ways similar to Unity Wireless. We could say this is because the device discount is under the government ACP program. But that’s not the only thing.
After going through the online application forms for free tablets on Excess Telecom and Unity Wireless, they are the same. It’s almost like when you compare the websites of Airtalk, Cintex, and NewPhone Wireless, the three lifeline brands of HTH Communication.
I mean, when you tap “Enroll Now” (on Excess Telecom) or “Apply Now” (on Unity Wireless), you’ll get a prompt to enter your Zip code and email address to Continue. Then, the site will take you to the actual ACP online enrollment form, where you need to:
- Fill in your Personal Information to complete the first stage. The information for the first section includes things like name, social security number (last four digits), contact number, et cetera.
- Next, enter your physical address (based on the area Zip code you entered earlier. If you just used a random Zip code, there’s no option to edit here. You’ll need to restart the process from scratch)
- Once the carrier accepts your address, you’ll need to confirm how many adults are in your household. Then the site will redirect you to the second stage of enrollment, where you’ll need to confirm your Eligibility.
In this eligibility stage, select if you’d like to apply for the ACP program with an approved government assistance program or income level. If you’d prefer to “Apply Based on Income”, your total household income must be at or below 200% of the latest federal poverty guidelines.
As for the program-based eligibility, Excess Telecom lets you apply with either:
- Medicaid medical program
- Food Stamps/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) program
- Veterans Pension and Veteran’s Survivors Benefit Program
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
- Free and reduced-price School Breakfast/ Lunch Program
Unfortunately, Excess Telecom only has the option to select the above assistance programs. If on LIHEAP, Head Start, TANF, BIA, or any other government-funded assistance programs, you’ll have to apply by income requirement.
After you’ve selected your eligibility method, Excess Telecom will now redirect you to the National Verifier (NV) page. The National Verifier is the database system (managed by USAC) that determines if you qualify for the ACP or not.
Upload Your Documents Proof of Identity/ Address/ Eligibility
Again, after you’ve selected your eligibility method and clicked the “Complete National Verifier” button, Excess Telecom will redirect you to the National Verifier page. If you’re participating in the Lifeline program, NV should verify your information instantly.
However, when not on Lifeline, NV won’t have your information. You’ll need to upload a copy of an official document to prove your identity, physical address, and eligibility.
- Proof of identity: you can use a document like a valid government-issued ID, weapons permit, birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and tax return.
- Proof of address: some documents used for proof of identity can verify your address too. A perfect example includes a tax return, driver’s license, and government/ state/ tribal ID. Alternatively, you can upload a copy of a doc like a utility bill or mortgage/ lease statement.
- Proof of eligibility: (a) if applying with income-based requirements, you’ll need a copy of a document like a recent payment stub or tax return. You can also upload a copy of your statement of income, worker’s compensation, or government benefits like social security, pension, etc. (b) When you apply ACP with a program-based requirement, you’ll need a document with your name, name of the benefit, and the establishment that issue it. Thus, a statement of the benefits or verification/ approval letter is the best.
Ps when applying for the ACP with Excess Telecom as a student under 18, you’ll need something to prove your emancipation status. And perfect proof here’s a document copy like a valid certificate or a letter from the court.
Key Takeaway: How to Activate Excess Telecom Free Tablet
After the National Verifier approves your registration, Excess Telecom will start processing your ACP order. If interested, you can log in to your account using the email you used in the initial step of enrollment to check your order status.
You can also call customer support at 1-800-615-0898 to confirm your application status. And once the team is ready, they’ll ship the tablet (and SIM kit) to the physical address used to register.
When your order arrives, the next step will be to activate your device for use. And the Excess Telecom tablet activation process is pretty straightforward since we’re talking of a GSM operator. You’ll just need to insert the SIM card into the dedicated slot. Then follow the on-screen instructions until the end when your device registers signal bars.
Get Excess Telecom Free Tablet Replacement
If you like the 10-inch display, 32GB internal memory, 3GB RAM, and Android OS, that’s everything crucial you should know on how to get Excess Telecom free tablet.
Remember the device you get always varies with the available stock. Thus, there’s still a likelihood of missing the BLU M10l Pro tablet, and you get the backup M8L series.
Regardless of the kind of tablet Excess Telecom send you, they only have a 14-day standard warranty support. And this means if your device came with any malfunction, you could qualify for a free replacement. You’ll just need to contact customer support at 1-800-615-0898 and explain your problem.
If the customer service agent can’t solve your issue, she/ he will provide a Return merchandise authorization (RMA) number. Then you’ll need to pack your tablet and all accessories in the box it came with and return the package to the designated Excess Telecom Service Center.