Vital program keeps low-income families online

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The COVID-19 pandemic underscored that access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, and the need to connect all Washingtonians is urgent. Unfortunately, a critical service established to help low-income Americans get online, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), will disappear if Congress refuses to fund the program in 2023. As many as 2.9 million households in Washington could lose access to the internet—especially within Black communities where 38% of households do not have adequate access to high-speed internet. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have been fierce advocates in the fight to bring equitable, accessible broadband to all communities through their support of projects including the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). We applaud Sens. Murray and Cantwell for their dedication to digital equity and join the National Action Network, the Black Economic Alliance, the Black Women’s Roundtable, and 11 other prominent civil rights groups that called on lawmakers to secure ACP’s long-term future.

[Paula Sardinas is chief executive and president of the WA Build Back Black Alliance, based in Issaquah, WA]

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