Drew Garner

23,269,550 ACP Households

23,269,550. This was the number of households participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) when enrollment closed on February 8th, 2024. It is more than one out of every six households in the United States. But 23,269,550 is also a very high precipice from which to fall. If the ACP ends, all enrollees will experience some combination of bill shock, disconnections, financial sacrifice, service downgrades, and/or household debt.

As FCC Freezes ACP Enrollment, Benton Institute Asks Congress to Act

Today, the doors are closing on the most successful broadband affordability program in U.S. history—the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)—despite the ACP’s overwhelming support from voters, advocates, industry, state officials, and Members of Congress. The ACP was created so that financial hardship would never be a barrier to internet access. If you lost your job one day, the ACP meant you could still look for work the next. No distance could keep you from your doctor, your teacher, or your loved ones.

Who is About to Lose their ACP Discount?

The Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), established in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is expected to end this Spring if it does not receive additional funding from Congress soon. The funding situation is so dire that this week the FCC halted any new enrollments in the program. For millions of people eligible for the ACP, affordable broadband service is getting harder to obtain.

Here’s What ISPs Are Telling ACP Subscribers Today

Today is the first day of the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). As you read this, one out of every six American households is being notified that their internet bill may soon spike and potentially become unaffordable. The ACP is a federal benefit that is currently helping 22.8 million low-income households afford internet service. However, the ACP is running out of funding. If Congress does not act soon, the ACP will end this Spring and the millions of people who rely on it will experience a sudden bill shock.

How the FCC Plans to End the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal benefit that helps qualifying low-income households pay for internet service and devices. Since January 2022, the ACP has grown to help over 22 million U.S. households (roughly one in six of all Americans) access the internet. However, the ACP is running out of funding. Congress originally appropriated $14.2 billion for the ACP, but over time that amount has been spent down to the point where the ACP is on course to run out of funding this Spring.

What Congress Needs to Know About Affordable Connectivity Program Funding

Roughly one in seven Americans have come to rely on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) since it was created almost exactly two years ago by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act). As of November 1, 2023, the ACP had roughly $4.7 billion in remaining funds. If the current rate of program uptake continues, April 2024 will be the last full month of funding for the ACP. To avoid this problem, the White House recently asked Congress for an additional $6 billion for the ACP in order to extend the program, and give Congress and the Federal Communicat

Closing the Digital Divide Benefits Everyone, Not Just the Unconnected

Institutions that provide essential services, including education, health care, government functions, and the workforce, have a duty to make their services universally accessible. But because of the persistence of the digital divide, these institutions cannot fully integrate and modernize internet-based technologies into their services; doing so would effectively deny service to people who cannot adequately access the internet. As a result, institutions have been unable to fully leverage the benefits of technology to make their services even more effective, efficient, and innovative.

Common Sense and Public Knowledge recommend updates to the Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment Claims Tracker

Common Sense and Public Knowledge recommend that the Universal Service Administrative Company make additional types of data available through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Enrollment Claims Tracker. The tracker is the main source of publicly-available data on the ACP. However, the tracker currently lacks key types of data to precisely measure the effect of these campaigns or understand the quality of the services and devices purchased.