The ACP has been a huge success to date. ACP has connected approximately 20 out of 52 million eligible households to broadband internet (i.e., 1 in 3 eligible households). These households are in every state and territory across the country. Consumers who cannot afford broadband can get connected and stay connected which is critical for education, health care, employment and so much more. Providers can get more consumers on their networks, which helps support the business case for deploying broadband network infrastructure.
However, the ACP is in danger of running out of funds as soon as mid-2024, meaning that providers will have to start winding down the program by the end of 2023, and there is a significant risk that consumers will lose service. We need long term changes to make the Universal Service Fund sustainable, but in the short term, if we don't secure ACP funding, millions of families will lose internet access next year.
Congress should commit to providing Americans with affordable, high-speed internet by creating a consistent and reliable long-term subsidy to ensure the ACP continues. The ACP is supported by a broad range of stakeholders including consumer groups, public interest organizations, broadband providers, and industry trade associations. These groups all urge Congress to continue funding the ACP.
Americans are paying an average of $61-per-month for internet service, so the Affordable Connectivity Program offers significant relief for low-income households that struggle to maintain their essential needs.
Congress can and should take several other steps to ensure that high-speed internet is affordable and accessible, including, but not limited to:
- providing funding for devices like computers and tablets;
- making broadband providers to offer an affordable “basic service” package;
- enforcing price transparency requirements, including fees and equipment rentals; and
- incentivizing competition in order to decrease prices long-term.
Tell Congress it’s time to #MakeBroadbandAffordable for everyone.