Reaching Households ‘Biggest Challenge’ of Affordable Connectivity Program, Rosenworcel Says

The Affordable Connectivity Program, like its predecessor, has a challenge with outreach, a conference heard Thursday.

Reaching Households ‘Biggest Challenge’ of Affordable Connectivity Program, Rosenworcel Says
Photo of Thursday's event includes FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, right

WASHINGTON, February 22, 2022 – At a Thursday event, Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, said the “biggest challenge” of the Affordable Connectivity Program for the agency has been getting households signed up.

“There are more households we can get to because this program really helps households stay connected to something essential,” Rosenworcel said of the broadband subsidy program during the National Digital Inclusivity Alliance’s annual Net Inclusion event. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to make an extraordinary impact, and I’m pretty convinced we’re only going to do that effectively if we are talking to each other with crazy regularity.”

Rosenworcel’s comments came after a question about a potential relationship between the FCC and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Digital Equity Act to distribute information concerning the ACP.

The comments follow a recent announcement from the White House that the ACP has registered over 10 million households. The ACP will provide eligible households with a $30 per month subsidy for broadband, or $75 a month for houses in tribal communities. It also gives eligible households a one-time $100 credit for a device to connect to the internet.

The agency chairwoman had previously said that the “most valuable thing” for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which is the predecessor of the program, is outreach. And activists agreed that more outreach needs to be done to raise awareness about the program.

The National Digital Inclusivity Alliance, which is recognized for its efforts to put an end to the digital divide, announced on February 15 a $10-million grant from Google’s charitable arm that is intended identify 18 rural and tribal community organizations and fund their digital navigator programs.

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