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[Statement] AAPB Lauds Introduction Of The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act Of 2024



Photo of Gigi B. Sohn

Today, Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Representative Brian Fitzgerald (R-PA), Senator

Peter Welch (D-VT), Senator JD Vance (R-OH), Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Senator Kevin

Cramer (R-ND) introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024. The Act

appropriates $7 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for fiscal year 2024. The

ACP provides a $30 broadband subsidy for low-income households and a $75 subsidy for

households on tribal lands and in high-cost areas.


Gigi Sohn, Executive Director of AAPB released the following statement:

 

With the introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Extension Act of 2024, the new year is off to a promising start for nearly 23 million low-income, tribal and high-cost households. The ACP has allowed tens of millions of US residents to purchase and stay connected to broadband Internet service, which is essential for full participation in our economy, our culture, our health care and education systems and our democracy. AAPB applauds Representatives Clarke and Fitzgerald, and Senators Welch, Vance, Rosen and Cramer for their leadership as the future of the ACP reaches the 11th hour.


When Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, it included the ACP because it recognized that it’s not enough to provide tens of billions of dollars for broadband providers to build networks; it must also ensure that everybody can use them. The program has been a success, both for end users and for broadband providers like AAPB’s public network operators. Its survival is integral to the success of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program – it helps incentivize broadband providers to serve rural and low-income communities and makes BEAD dollars go further by improving the providers’ return on investment.


The ACP is the rare broadband policy that is supported by everyone in the ecosystem – industry, public interest and digital equity advocates, local, state and federal officials, Republicans and Democrats. Yet the program is at serious risk of ending this April unless Congress swiftly acts to extend it. Passage of the ACP Extension Act will help keep American households connected while giving Congress and the FCC time to consider how best to make the ACP a permanent program.



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