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August 17, 2023

45 bipartisan members of Congress call for extension of affordable broadband access program

Credit: WRNJ

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of 45 Members of Congress, 29 Democrats and 16 Republicans — led by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) — wrote to congressional leadership and called for an extension of the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in the upcoming government appropriations bill.

Unfortunately, one in five American households lack access to broadband. Nearly 40% of eligible Americans rely on ACP to maintain internet access and that number is rapidly growing. Current federal investment for ACP is expected to be depleted by 2024.

ACP provides millions of families with financial assistance to ensure every household nationwide has access to high-speed and reliable broadband. Specifically, the program provides eligible households with up to $30 per month towards their internet bills, and a one-time subsidy of $100 toward desktops, laptops, or tablet computers for children and hardworking families.

The signatory list of 45 bipartisan Members of Congress includes Reps. Gottheimer (NJ-5), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), James Moylan (Guam-At Large), Brittany Pettersen (CO-7), David Valadao (CA-22), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Debbie Dingell (MI-6), Daniel Kildee (MI-8), David Trone (MD-6), Steven Horsford (NV-4), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jim Costa (CA-21), Elissa Slotkin (MI-7), Susie Lee (NV-3), Michael Lawler (NY-17), Young Kim (CA-40), Scott Peters (CA-50), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Greg Landsman (OH-1), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Sanford Bishop, Jr. (GA-2), Marcus Molinaro (NY-19), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Hillary Scholten (MI-3), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Donald Davis (NC-1), Angie Craig (MN-2), Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-At Large), Darren Soto (FL-9), Thomas Kean, Jr. (NJ-7), Nick LaLota (NY-1), Andrew Garbarino (NY-2), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Juan Ciscomani (AZ-6), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-5), Nancy Mace (SC-1), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), Ed Case (HI-1), Anthony D’Esposito (NY-4), and Don Bacon (NE-2).

“In the Twenty-first Century, broadband connectivity is essential to maximizing educational opportunities, stimulating economic growth, lowering health care costs, investing in a skilled workforce, and connecting individuals with their loved ones,” the bipartisan Members of Congress wrote in a letter today to Speaker McCarthy, House Minority Leader Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader McConnell. “We have a unique window of opportunity to ensure that every family and child — rural, urban, and suburban — have access to affordable broadband, and can thrive in the digital age. ACP has become a lifeline for Americans, and we cannot afford to let it expire. We strongly urge you to prioritize the extension of funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program in the upcoming government appropriations bill. Failure to extend funding would not only leave millions of families without access to the internet but also hinder our long-term competitiveness as a nation.”