By Ryan Johnston
The latest data indicates that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has enrolled over 17 million households. To date, the ACP’s expenditure is roughly $500 million monthly. Without additional funding, the program is projected to be exhausted by the second quarter of 2024. Some estimates show that it could take up to $30 to $35 billion to extend the program for an additional five years. Without this program, countless households could potentially lose access to invaluable connectivity.
The importance of renewing the ACP cannot be overstated. To that end, Next Century Cities joined with 165 organizations of all sizes and missions in a letter to Congressional Leadership to show support for the ACP. The letter emphasizes that:
Failure to extend the ACP with new funding could result in the biggest loss of Internet connectivity ever. Without action from Congress this year, millions of households could immediately lose service. In addition, the loss of ACP would reduce the efficacy of Congress’ groundbreaking $42 billion investment in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.
Further, the letter highlighted the significant decrease in subsidy size needed to incentivize broadband deployment in rural areas thanks to the ACP. Undeniably, the ACP has provided a critical resource for families struggling to get high-speed Internet service or maintain their subscription. It is imperative that Congress reauthorize this program with adequate funding.
Read the full letter here.