GOP Defunds High speed Internet Subsidy ACP Program

  • GOP Defunds High speed Internet Subsidy ACP Program

    Posted by Unknown Member on February 13, 2024 at 3:23 pm

    The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides subsidies for millions of Americans to access the internet and wireless services, is running out of money. The FCC has started freezing enrollments on February 8, 2024.

    Without additional funding, the end of the ACP will hurt everyone from low-income consumers to telecommunications companies and community organizations.

    No one ever thought that the extraordinary investment in families on the wrong side of digital opportunities would be winding down. And doing so at a time when more than 20 million eligible families have finally found affordable options to connect to remote work, distance learning, health care, and for greater connections to family members, and civil society.

    As of December 2023, 9.9 million participants of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) were using the $30.00 per month discount toward fixed, or home broadband; 12 million for wireless services; and just under one percent on something else, like fixed wireless or satellite, according to ACP enrollment data.

    But last month, in response to the lack of a congressional reallocation of money and with funds dwindling, Chairwomen Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) penned a letter about the program’s fate and informed Congress that, on February 8, 2024, that the agency would start freezing new ACP enrollments.

    Meanwhile, states are steadily preparing to deploy federally subsidized, broadband deployments in areas that will be highly dependent on having subscribers for new and expanded assets. What the end of the ACP means for pending infrastructure, and the range of stakeholders from subscribers to community organizations has yet to be fully considered.

    The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), one of many parts of the national effort to accelerate broadband as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, was established to address one of the contributing factors to the U.S. digital divide — monthly affordability of services.

    The initial $14 billion that once sounded like a generous investment toward these concerns is now expected to run out, prompting the FCC’s efforts to wind down the ACP.

    Unknown Member replied 1 month, 4 weeks ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
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