Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is calling on Congress to renew funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, ACP. The program, which helps over 20 million Americans pay their internet bills, is set to run out of money by April 2024.
“Across the country, I have met with people who have been able to get online and stay connected thanks to this program,” Rosenworcel told the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology in November.
The ACP provides a $30 monthly discount towards internet service for eligible households and a $75 monthly discount to households on qualifying tribal lands. The program also offers a one-time discount of up to $100 towards a computer, laptop or tablet purchase.
The ACP has proven to crucial to connecting homes at a time when internet access is more a necessity than a luxury. Without ACP funding, millions of households might no longer be able to afford broadband access. In today’s digital age, almost everything can be done online from doctor appointments and paying bills to working from home and attending school. Unreliable or slow internet speeds — or no internet access at all — can cripple a household.
“I strongly support funding the Affordable Connectivity Program into the future to help more families get and stay connected to the high-speed internet they need to participate in modern life,” Rosenworcel said.
Multiple industry associations have voiced support to continue funding the ACP including NCTA, The Rural Broadband Assocation. In October, asked Congress to allocate $6 billion towards the ACP, which would keep the program running through next December.
The news was reported earlier by Total Telecom.