FFC Commissioner Rails Against End Of Affordable Internet

Access to affordable and reliable internet is crucial for millions of Americans. It allows us to work, learn, connect, and access resources. However, the Affordable Connectivity Program, which has helped 23 million low-income households afford internet service, is facing a funding crisis.

Established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Affordable Connectivity Program has been a game-changer. It provides high-quality, often free internet service to families who can’t afford it. It has bridged the digital divide in rural and urban areas, reaching diverse demographics.

The program has been hailed as the most effective initiative in bipartisan efforts to address the digital divide. It empowers low-income Americans and levels the playing field. However, without additional funding from Congress, the program will run out of money as early as April.

Losing access to affordable broadband would be devastating for millions of Americans. Monthly internet bills would skyrocket, widening the digital divide. Nearly half of these households would lose their internet subscriptions altogether. State affordability programs may be unable to match the program’s scale and impact in time.

Internet service providers have partnered with the Affordable Connectivity Program to offer low-cost plans. But without federal support, maintaining free connections for 23 million households is unsustainable. Providers are calling for the program to receive the funding it needs.

Losing internet access could have a profound impact on families, especially on education. Congress must act swiftly to allocate additional funding to the program. It has proven effective in empowering low-income households and narrowing the digital divide. Investing in its continuation is crucial for building a more equitable and inclusive society.

Internet access is essential for various aspects of life. It provides information, connectivity, and opportunities in education, employment, and healthcare. However, low-income individuals and families struggle to access the internet.

Studies show that internet access increases employment opportunities and improves earnings for low-income users. It also enhances access to telehealth services, leading to better healthcare outcomes. Internet access is critical for modern life.

The Affordable Connectivity Program addresses the affordability challenge by providing options for low-income households. It also plays a significant role in expanding broadband infrastructure and investing in building new networks in rural communities.

The program has reduced the subsidy needed for rural broadband deployment by 25%. It allows states to connect more rural homes and bridge the digital divide. Funding for the program is included in President Biden’s budget, with support from governors, mayors, and Congress members from both parties.

Addressing the digital divide is crucial for creating an equitable and inclusive society. Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. It is an investment in personal and economic growth. We can unlock opportunities and thrive in the digital age by ensuring affordable connectivity for all.