Broadband access is critical for modern life. Yet, millions of Americans lack access to quality, affordable broadband. The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program is working to help close that gap, especially focusing on rural and low-income areas.
The program is designed to help close the digital gap by providing funding for broadband deployment in underserved areas, and encouraging the adoption of technology among households. The ACP will also provide up to $2.5 billion over the next 10 years to support broadband deployment, with the funds to be used to build, maintain, and operate broadband networks in areas that lack access to quality, affordable broadband. This initiative is a critical step in ensuring that all Americans have access to the broadband they need to participate in this digital economy.
Click here to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program: affordableconnectivityprogram.com
Here are some of the key goals of the ACP:
Increase Broadband Access in Rural, Urban, and Tribal Communities
The Affordable Connectivity Program is designed to increase broadband access in rural, urban, and tribal communities. It will provide grants to eligible applicants to deploy infrastructure that will expand broadband access, increasing the capacity and quality of broadband services in said communities. In addition, it will also fund digital inclusion efforts, such as training and technical assistance to help residents gain digital literacy.
The program is also committed to closing the digital divide by providing access to internet services and technology to those who lack it. This will not only provide access to educational, economic, and health-related opportunities to those living in rural and tribal communities but will also help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.
Provide Low-Cost, Quality Service
Through this program, qualifying households can access discounted high-speed internet and low-cost computers. In most cases, the ACP is able to fully cover the cost of a monthly broadband subscription. This program is essentially helping those who may not otherwise be able to afford the necessary services to access the internet.
The ACP replaces the defunct Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB that provided the same type of subsidized internet service during the height of the COVID pandemic and is also providing a more long-term, proactive approach to providing low-cost, quality broadband for those in need.
Development of Digital Infrastructure
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a major step forward in the effort to provide more equitable access to digital technology, as well as the training and resources necessary to use it effectively. The program is also paving the way for the development of digital infrastructure that will enable more people to connect to the internet and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that come with digital access. It will enable local communities to equip themselves with the necessary tools to bridge the digital divide, expand access to employment opportunities, and build more inclusive and connected societies.
The Affordable Connectivity Program has made great strides in breaking down barriers to broadband access and providing affordable access to broadband services for low-income households. The program has already enabled over 1 million households to gain access to affordable broadband services, and the FCC hopes to continue this success in the future.