White House Touts Over 10 Million Registered Households on Affordable Connectivity Program

The program, previously the Emergency Broadband Benefit, was extended by the infrastructure bill.

White House Touts Over 10 Million Registered Households on Affordable Connectivity Program
Photo of Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo by Greg Nash. 

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2022 – During a White House event on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that more than 10 million American households are now enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, according to a release.

The Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in November, extended via a $14.2-billion injection the program’s predecessor, the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which provides eligible households with broadband subsidies of up to $30 a month and up to $75 a month for homes on tribal lands. It also provides a one-time discount of up to $100 on a device, such as computer or tablet.

Harris was accompanied Monday by Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

“So much of our day to day—work, education, healthcare and more—has migrated online,” Rosenworcel said Monday. “As a result, it’s more apparent than ever before that broadband is no longer nice-to-have, it’s need-to-have, for everyone, everywhere. But there are far too many households across the country that are wrestling with how to pay for gas and groceries and also keep up with the broadband bill. This program, like its predecessor, can make a meaningful difference.”

The announcement comes after the FCC last month adopted rules that changed the program’s eligibility requirements for more households to connect.

And despite the massive funding increase that makes the Affordable Connectivity Program the nation’s largest broadband affordability program, advocacy groups say better outreach is necessary to increase enrollment in the program.

The White House release said Monday that over the next month, the FCC will join with ACP outreach partners to host enrollment events that “build program awareness and train grassroots navigators on ACP eligibility and the enrollment process.”

To be eligible for the program, a household must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or participate in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline. A household can also be eligible if a member is enrolled in other programs like the National School Breakfast or lunch program.