Is the Affordable Connectivity Program ending? Apply now

Is the Affordable Connectivity Program ending? A group of U.S. Senators and Representatives have introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, a bipartisan legislation aimed at providing $7 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP was created to provide affordable high-speed internet to qualifying households nationwide through monthly discounts of up to $30 for internet service and up to $75 for those living on Tribal lands. The program has benefited over 22.5 million households, including veterans, college students, families with K-12 students receiving free or reduced-price lunches, and seniors. *Without additional funding, the program will run out by April 2024. This bipartisan proposal aims to extend the ACP and ensure that families, seniors, and workers across the country can continue to access high-speed, reliable broadband at an affordable rate.

It’s great that lawmakers recognize the importance of affordable internet access for all Americans, regardless of their income level or location. Senators Welch and Vance have expressed their support for the Affordable Connectivity Program and the need to extend its funding beyond the current deadline. With over a million households in Ohio alone benefiting from this program, it’s clear that there is a significant demand for affordable internet access across the country. Let’s hope this bipartisan effort ensures that families, seniors, and workers can access the reliable broadband they need to stay connected and thrive in the digital age.

It’s great to see Senators Rosen and Cramer recognizing the Affordable Connectivity Program’s impact on their respective states and the importance of extending its funding. With over a quarter of a million families in Nevada benefiting from the program and an estimated $7.3 million in monthly savings, it’s clear that the program is making a real difference in people’s lives. And in North Dakota, the program has been critical in connecting remote and underserved communities to the rest of the world. By keeping the program funded and operational through unspent COVID-19 funds, these Senators are helping to bridge the digital divide and ensure everyone, including farmers, students, veterans, and senior citizens, has access to affordable high-speed internet. This is a crucial step in contributing to the economic growth of their states and the country.

Access to high-speed internet is necessary for everyday life in our increasingly digital world. Congresswoman Clarke and Congressman Fitzpatrick have expressed their support for the Affordable Connectivity Program and the need to extend its funding to ensure that families in need have access to high-speed broadband. The bipartisan, bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act provides a transformative opportunity to bridge the digital divide gap for communities of color, urban and rural families, and many more underserved Americans. Senators Welch, Vance, Rosen, and Cramer lead the bill’s introduction in the Senate, while Representatives Clarke and Fitzpatrick lead the bill in the House of Representatives with several original cosponsors. The bill is supported by over 400 organizations, including AARP, AFL-CIO, and several major telecom companies. Seeing so much support for this crucial program is helping millions of Americans stay connected.

*The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made an official statement regarding the ACP program. Effective February 7, 2024, at 8:59 PM Pacific Time (California Time), the ACP program will “freeze,” and no new enrollments will be accepted thereafter. However, the FCC has confirmed that if an applicant is approved for ACP and enrolls with an ISP by the February 7 deadline, they will receive the full 90 days of ACP benefits, which will take them through April 2024. The FCC has also clarified that full or partial benefits could continue into May or longer due to claims, refunding, or an extension of funding by Congress.  While it is uncertain what Congress and the FCC will do, it is advisable to register before February 7 to receive the following benefits: up to a $30 per month benefit for up to 3 months and registration as a household in need of affordable Internet service for the future.

Additionally, an applicant may be given more consideration by their ISP for transition to another affordable Internet plan.  By signing up before the deadline, applicants can ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. The ACP program is an excellent opportunity for households needing affordable Internet service. Therefore, we advise applicants to take advantage of this opportunity by registering before February 7.