Affordable Connectivity Program (was Emergency Broadband Benefit Program)
Half of ACP-Eligible Households Still Unaware of the Program
After a year of operation, half of all households eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) internet subsidy are unaware of the benefit. A January 2023 survey of low-income households finds that over 50% say they have never heard of the program or do not know anything about it. Although many eligible households are unaware of ACP, the survey points to ways in which policymakers and community leaders can encourage enrollment. First, outreach can make a difference.
Understanding and Driving Enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program
Fitting the monthly cost of a broadband subscription into a low-income household budget is difficult, to say the least, because of the costs of competing necessities like lodging, food, and healthcare. These financial pressures—and unexpected expenses—keep too many people in the U.S. from subscribing to home broadband service—or cause them to drop service at times to make ends meet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress recognized these obstacles for low-income people and created a program—first called the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—to reduce the monthly costs of connectivity.
It’s No Time to Disarm in the War Against the Digital Divide
The pandemic spurred policymakers and community leaders around the country to create programs to connect those without home broadband service or computers. These programs have had an impact. New government data show sharp increases in broadband and computer adoption in the 2019-to-2021 time frame. Initiatives such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) have helped address “subscription vulnerability” for low-income households. With progress evident, it is time to extend and build on the ACP and local affordability programs.
Verizon expands high-speed internet across Delaware
Verizon is bringing more choices for home and business internet to customers in Delaware as it deploys high-speed broadband internet service across the state.
North Carolina Awarded $500,000 to Help More People Afford High-Speed Internet
Governor Kelly Launches Statewide Initiative to Increase Adoption of Affordable Connectivity Program
Governor Laura Kelly (D-KS) announced a statewide initiative to increase awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a program that helps lower-income families pay for high-speed internet. There are 438,634 Kansas households eligible for the ACP, yet only 93,244 (21%) of those eligible have enrolled. In partnership with EducationSuperHighway, a national non-profit with a mission to close the broadband affordability gap, the governor’s initiative will build a broad coalition of local stakeholders, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and higher learning instit
Frontier and Charter spar over speed, and availability claims in ad disputes
Fiber-focused Frontier Communications and cable giant Charter Communications each took some hits and scored some points in a series of clashes over marketing claims related to their respective broadband products. Frontier scored a key win as the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended Charter qualify some of its speed claims to note they’re not symmetrical, while Charter prevailed in challenges related to Frontier’s claims around availability and reliability.
FCC Adopts Second Funding Opportunity for ACP Outreach Grant Program
The Federal Communications Commission has directed the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to offer an additional funding opportunity of up to $10 million for the National Competitive Outreach Grant Program (NCOP) and the Tribal Competitive Outreach Grant Program (TCOP), which are components of the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program. This maximum of $10 million will come from a combination of: (a) unspent funding – funding previously allocated to the Outreach Grant Program but not awarded; and (b) unobligated funding – funding from the $100 million Affordable Connectivity P
USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter at The Media Institute
This is a moment steeped in optimism about our connected future. There are many opportunities to join forces—across government, industry and community organizations. Collectively, we can get big things done. Our current project is to achieve connectivity for all. And, according to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act timeline, if we all hit of our marks, that goal could be achieved by the end of this decade. The question I’d like to pose is this: We have always seen universal connectivity as the end goal.
FCC Targets Additional $7 Million Toward Affordable Connectivity Program Awareness
The Federal Communications Commission is targeting approximately $7.445 million for two additional one-year, pilot outreach grant programs to raise awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The two pilot programs will test a variety of methods to reach out to federal housing communities, and work with trusted third parties to assist consumers with completing and submitting an ACP application. The FCC selected 23 applicants for the Your Home, Your Internet Program and 9 applicants for the ACP Navigator Pilot Program.