How Local Government Can Support the Affordable Connectivity Program

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The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) — which is a federal benefit intended to help more people get high-speed Internet at home — is yet to enroll more than 40 percent of households nationwide that are eligible for it. In fact, as of this writing, enrollment was at 37.4 percent. What this means, essentially, is that many in the U.S. who don’t have high-speed Internet at home are missing out on government money intended to change that. And while experts in digital inclusion say there are many reasons for that enrollment number — among them skepticism of government, as well as lack of awareness that the benefit program exists — they also agree that local and state government have a crucial role to play in raising enrollment rates. “Keeping in mind that ‘free Internet’ could sound like a scam, all ACP efforts need to include trust — trust in the organization with the ACP message and trust in the individual helping with sign-ups,” said Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “Local and state governments are essential to increasing awareness of this valuable program.” And a key to doing the digital inclusion work necessary to promote the program  is for local government to partner with community groups that are also doing the work in the city and have existing relationships with people.

How Local Gov Can Support the Affordable Connectivity Program