Five things about the US Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
With a $14 billion appropriation from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has enrolled some 18 million households in a short period of time. ACP may be the most effective broadband benefit program to date with its direct-to-consumer model. Eligible households can receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service (up to $75 per month for eligible households on Tribal lands) and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
- Direct to Consumer Model. A broadband voucher goes directly to the eligible, authenticated user without intermediaries.
- The best anti-poverty program for the money. People use the broadband connection to get a job, start a business, and learn new skills.
- Like school choice, it’s broadband choice. People use the voucher to select their preferred broadband provider and technology with a sufficient monthly budget for quality subscription and a device.
- Competition. Users’ freedom to choose and the technological neutrality of the program creates competition in broadband and service market.
- Funding. However beneficial this program, the funding will run out in 2024. There are innovative ways to fund this valuable program going forward without putting the burden on taxpayers or through deficit spending.
- Sustainable Funding. However beneficial this program, the funding will run out in 2024. There are innovative ways to fund this valuable program going forward without putting the burden on taxpayers or through deficit spending.
Read more about ACP:
- GAO Highlights $14 Billion Broadband Subsidy Program’s Success And How To Improve Forbes (Jan. 31, 2023)
- Policy No-Brainer: Extend The Affordable Connectivity Program For 5 Years With $30 Billion Forbes (Sep 30. 2022)
- Low-Income California Families Deserve The Maximum State And Federal Broadband Discounts Possible Forbes (Sep. 12, 2022)
- Low Income Californians Need Full Access To State And Federal Broadband Programs Forbes (Jul. 18, 2022)
See the empirical research about the ACP:
- Hernan Galperin, Estimating participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) USC Annenberg (Oct. 27, 2022)
- Paul Garnett, Affordable Connectivity Program needs permanent funding The Hill (Jun. 24, 2022)
- John Horrigan, ACP Enrollment Performance Tool: Understanding Factors that Play a Role in ACP Enrollment Benton (May. 15, 2023)
- John Horrigan, Reimagining Lifeline: Universal Service, Affordability, and Connectivity Benton (Feb. 22, 2022)
- Kathryn de Wit Broadband Access Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts (2019)