Today, Rep.Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT), Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and others introduced the “Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024.” The bill would fund the ACP – a program providing a $30/month broadband subsidy for low-income consumers struggling to afford internet access – with an additional $7 billion dollars for 2024.
Created by Congress in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” the ACP helps connect more families to this essential communications service by addressing one of the key barriers to broadband adoption: affordability. According to the Institute of Self-Reliance, more than 20 million eligible households are currently enrolled in the ACP. Without continued funding, the program is at risk of running out of money and ending in April 2024 – potentially leaving millions of low-income households without access to an affordable broadband service. Public Knowledge commends these bipartisan leaders for their steadfast efforts to close the digital divide.
The following can be attributed to Sara Collins, Director of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
“Public Knowledge is pleased to see Senator Welch and Reps. Fitzpatrick and Clarke champion the continued funding of the Affordable Connectivity Program with bipartisan support. Twenty-five million families depend on this subsidy in order to afford broadband – which connects people to vital employment opportunities, education, and healthcare services every day. Congress must continue to fund this program or millions of people will lose the internet they depend on.
“Scores of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for continuing this program. Now leadership has a bill that can achieve it just in time to be included in a funding bill. If Congressional leaders ignore this crisis and fail to renew the ACP, millions of Americans will be at risk of losing their online connection to work, healthcare, education, and critical information. Now is the time for Congress to act to keep families connected.”
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