John Horrigan

Understanding uptake in demand-side broadband subsidy programs: The affordable connectivity program case

This paper hypothesizes that Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) enrollment decisions are not solely individual, but also influenced by community-wide considerations, such as housing costs, share of occupied houses, presence of anchor institutions such as public libraries, and population density (i.e., whether a place is urban or rural). The paper develops a regression model that predicts ACP enrollment rates among eligible households at the 5-digit zip code geography as a function of the variables discussed above.

Updated ACP Enrollment Performance Tool Includes ACP Risk Score

Today we are releasing our latest version of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Enrollment Performance Tool, which updates data through February 2024. We introduce a new feature in this version—the ACP Risk Score for each zip code included in the tool. This score indicates the degree to which households in a given zip code are at risk of losing or reducing internet connectivity should the ACP benefit lapse.

The Affordable Connectivity Program Creates $16.2 Billion in Annual Benefits to Subscribers

Created by Congress in 2020 and renewed in 2021, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is helping 23.3 million households afford internet access. But funding for ACP—the largest, most successful internet affordability program in US history—is set to expire on May 30, 2024. This week, President Joe Biden proposed short- and long-term funding solutions in his budget. And a House bill to provide funding through the end of 2024 had 180 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

This exploration finds that every dollar of ACP subsidy returns nearly two dollars in impacts to those using the program.



Ending the ACP will Limit the Internet’s Economic and Healthcare Benefits for Low-Income Households

What does solving the digital divide look like? The simple answer—getting more people online—is tempting, but it’s just a first step. Focusing only on home adoption rates provides a too limited perspective on the benefits of solving the digital divide. Consistency of connectivity is a key issue for low-income households—and this consistency is an important part of what the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP) offers. For many households, the digital divide is not a one-time bridge to cross. Instead, online connectivity can be episodic.

Deployment Alone Does Not Tell the Full Story of the Digital Divide

How should broadband adoption, affordability, and equity impact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s assessment of the availability of broadband for all Americans? A review of recent research indicates that it is not enough for networks to meet just certain deployment benchmarks. Consumer behavior is part of the picture: We cannot reach our universal broadband goals without widespread adoption, and we cannot achieve universal broadband adoption if service is not affordable.

Affordability, Adoption, Equity, and the United States’s Universal Broadband Goals



ACP Uptake is Strongest in Places Where It's Needed Most

Earlier this month, we released an updated version of the Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment Performance Tool, with data current through October 2023, the most recent dataset the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) has posted on ACP enrollment. The downloadable USAC dataset shows that 21.6 million households had enrolled in the program through October 2023.

US Affordable Connectivity Program is Closing the Digital Divide

In the wake of the Biden Administration’s request for a $6 billion extension of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), some in Congress question the program’s true impact on bringing broadband access to new users.

Gain and Sustain: The Affordable Connectivity Program is Getting More People Online

There is a positive and significant correlation between broadband adoption growth and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) enrollment. As of December 2022, ACP was aiding one in every eight residential broadband connections in metro and urban counties in the United States, many of them new subscribers. New analysis of the 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) and ACP enrollment data points to important findings as Members of Congress consider additional funding for ACP.