Public Knowledge Joins More Than 200 Groups Urging Congress To Save Affordable Connectivity Program

More than 200 groups and local governments urge Congress to fund the ACP to keep families connected.

Today, Public Knowledge joined more than 200 civil society groups and local, state, and Tribal governments in a letter urging the U.S. House of Representatives to sign a discharge petition filed by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) in support of the “Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act.” The legislation would provide an additional $7 billion to save a successful broadband-subsidy initiative.

The Federal Communications Commission, which administers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), will run out of funding for the program in a matter of weeks if additional federal funding is not provided. The program, created as part of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package, now helps connect more than 23 million U.S. households living near the poverty line or enrolled in federal-aid programs like Medicaid and SNAP.

The following is an excerpt from the letter:

“Access to affordable high-speed internet is not a luxury in 2024. The Affordable Connectivity Program has successfully allowed more than 23 million households to get – and stay – connected to robust broadband service at home. This represents a huge step forward in closing the digital divide for low-income, rural, and Tribal communities, including many people of color and people with disabilities. Without additional funding for the program, we stand to backslide on that progress.

“At the end of last year, the FCC conducted a survey of recipients and unearthed stunning findings. Eighty percent of respondents cited affordability as the reason they had inconsistent or no service prior to the ACP. More than three-quarters of respondents said that losing the ACP would disrupt their service, up to and including dropping internet service altogether. That means millions of households across the country – nearly half of which are military families – could lose their ability to access job opportunities, education, healthcare, online banking, and government services, and lose their ability to stay connected to what’s going on in their community.

“The continuation of the ACP is critical not only for the futures of the families the program connects but also to other recent federal investments in closing the digital divide. Unfortunately, in less than two weeks, the internet bills for one out of every six homes in the U.S. are going to rise because Congress has thus far failed to appropriate more funding to keep those households online with ACP support. Just a few weeks after that, the program will lapse entirely. We urge you to sign the discharge petition put forth by Rep. Clarke because time is of the essence. We cannot let these families lose their vital connections merely because Congress failed to vote on an immensely popular bill with a bipartisan majority’s support.”

You may view the letter for more information. You may also register to attend an Affordable Connectivity Program Rally hosted by Public Knowledge, Civic Nation, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and Digital Progress Institute on April 30 to learn more about the importance of this program. Media are encouraged to attend and seating is limited.

Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at or 405-249-9435.