As you are aware, the ACP was established in 2021 through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and has already connected more than 21 million American households with low-cost, reliable internet. The program is a crucial step forward in bridging the digital divide and expanding digital equity. By providing low-cost internet to eligible households, more people can access opportunities that empower them to build the future they want.
Without additional funding, it is predicted that resources for this vital program will be depleted in early 2024. President Biden has requested $6 billion in supplemental funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which we ask Congress to fulfill as soon as possible. Further, for digital equity efforts to be sustainable, the ACP needs to become permanent. By creating permanent funding for the ACP, Congress can build upon its successes and further expand internet access to underserved communities.
Access to reliable high-speed internet should not be considered a luxury, but rather a necessity for all American households. The internet serves as not only as a social connector, but as a critical resource for health services, education, and employment. It empowers individuals by providing information and opportunities that can significantly impact their lives and personal growth. As the members of organizations focused on building thriving communities, we have witnessed first-hand the life-changing impact connectivity has on individuals and families.
We encourage you to take immediate action to ensure the Affordable Connectivity Program can continue providing vital internet services to Americans through the remainder of 2024 and well into the future.