Nicole Ferraro

ACP funding lapse imminent despite various paths forward

As May nears its final days, so does the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP, which entered a partial payment period at the start of the month, will officially end on May 31, unless Congress decides to save it. While there are myriad efforts underway to compromise on a path forward, saving the program is still seen as unlikely.

RDOF winner coalition tells FCC to grant more funds and amnesty

A group known as the "coalition of RDOF winners" has weighed in on whether the Federal Communications Commission should grant an amnesty period for providers to relinquish their locations awarded through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) in the interest of making those locations available for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program instead.

ACP, excluded from House spending package, creeps closer to death

The House of Representatives unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package on March 21 that, if passed, will keep the government from shutting down this weekend. What it won't do, however, is fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) before it ends in May 2024. With April set as the ACP's final month of full funding, advocates had hoped to see Congress fund the program in must-pass spending legislation. In addition to the ACP, another top priority for the telecom industry is getting more funding for the Secure Networks Program, also known as rip-and-replace.

Internet service providers not required to list ACP on broadband labels—FCC

Service providers will not be required to list information related to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) on their broadband labels, according to guidance issued by the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) on Monday.

ACP enrollments end today – now what?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which subsidizes broadband for low-income households, will officially stop accepting new enrollments after February 7, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gears up for the popular program to run out of funds this May.

What you need to know about the municipal broadband debate

As communities around the US work to close their digital divides, more and more are pursuing municipal broadband networks as a solution. As a recent example, in mid-January 2024, the state of New York was awarded $228 million by the Treasury Department for a grant program that will provide funding to "municipalities, non-profits, and other entities to construct open and accessible public bro

Wireless group raises new BEAD concerns

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) raising concerns that multiple states will fail to reach all unserved locations by funding fiber over other technologies. The concern comes as the NTIA is working on approving initial proposals for how each state and territory will conduct its Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) grant program.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel: Nearly half of ACP households are using it for fixed broadband

In a letter to a group of Republican lawmakers, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel confirmed that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is subsidizing fixed broadband services for nearly 10 million of the 22 million households enrolled in the program thus far. The letter was a response to an 

Looking ahead: Will Universal Service Fund reform finally happen?

The Universal Service Fund (USF) – which financially supports several of the Federal Communications Commission's high-cost and low-income broadband programs, at roughly $8 billion annually – has been going through a tough time. This past year saw the USF dragged before federal court in cases brought by a conservative public interest group questioning the fund's legality. The Fifth and Sixth Circuit courts initially ruled against the petitioners, but the Fifth Circuit then agreed to hear the case en banc in September and has yet to rule.

Looking ahead: Building up the fiber workforce

Fiber network deployments in the US, while hitting a bit of a slowdown, are proceeding apace and will ramp up significantly as grants start to roll out from the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program in 2025.