FCC Confirms April as Final Month of ACP Funding

Bipartisan legislation aimed at extending the program remains at a standstill in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

FCC Confirms April as Final Month of ACP Funding
Photo of United States Capitol by Ted Eytan published with permission

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2024 – The Federal Communications Commission formally notified Affordable Connectivity Program providers Monday that, due to a lack of additional funding from Congress, the agency will only be able to fully fund the program through April.

More than 23 million households across rural, suburban, and urban America rely on the ACP to pay for the high-speed internet service essential for school, work, health care, and more, according to the FCC.

Bipartisan legislation to extend the ACP until the end of 2024 has stalled since being referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on January 10.

Barring congressional action, providers will be required to issue a second notice to ACP participants regarding the program’s impending conclusion fifteen days after Monday's announcement. A third notice will follow, coinciding with the final billing cycle applying the full ACP benefit.

Household consent will be required to continue receiving broadband services after the program ends, as specified in the commission’s January order outlining the gradual phase-out of the program.

In a letter penned to congressional leaders on Monday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel urged immediate action before the program runs out of funds, leaving participating households without the full ACP benefit.

The letter highlighted the impact that the ACP enrollment freeze on February 7 has had on households wishing to enroll in the program, now unable to do so.

“Many of these households have contacted the commission to express their disappointment and frustration that they can no longer sign up for the program. Others have contacted the agency to express concern about the impending end of the program,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel in her letter to Congress.

The public notice issued Monday follows the release of survey data revealing more than two-thirds of ACP households had inconsistent or zero connectivity prior to enrolling in the program. The survey also indicated that more than three-quarters of ACP households will experience service disruptions if the program ends.

The program provides monthly $30 discounts on internet service for low-income households and up to $75 monthly discounts for eligible households on tribal lands and high-cost areas. Additionally, it offers a one-time discount of up to $100 off the price of an electronic device.

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