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The ACP Needs Your Help!

Freeda Conectar

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As Congress threatens to pause funding for the ACP, We need to pick up the fight to gain traction behind the ACP Extension Act before the digital divide gets out of hand.

Internet access is a necessity for almost every aspect of modern life and has become synonymous with employment, healthcare resources, access to education, and culture. The Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP for short, has been the first of its kind to

help bridge the digital divide helping 22 million households pay for their internet, may coming to an end - causing millions of Americans to face a steep increase in their internet bill or lose access altogether.

The situation, while seemingly dire, is still salvageable, if Congress can pass a $7 billion extension to bridge the digital divide and keep the program funded through the end of 2024. People who are not enrolled in the ACP have until February 7th to sign up, or they will have to wait and see if a fractious Congress - which continually disagrees over funding -  can come together on a resolution to extend funding for the program that is vital to nearly 70 million Americans. Internet access should be a right, not a luxury. More people than ever are getting their information online. It’s how folks communicate, work, go to school, shop, & stay connected to culture.



ACP? Heres the Deets

The ACP provides a monthly credit of $30, and up to $75 a month for those living on indigenous lands to help qualified customers pay for high-speed internet service. The program also offers a one-time $100 discount on a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.  Activly covering the cost of internet service for 22 million American households, 50% of which are current or former military. With $14.2 billion in approved funding through the 2021 Infrastructure Bill, the ACP is set to run out of funds in April, forcing program participants to pay more for their service or forego it due to cost.



Contact Your Representatives!!!

Contact your U.S. representative Here. & Contact your U.S. Senator Here.


We are urging everyone, including new participants in the program, to contact their congressional representatives and pressure them to fund the program. The ACP Extension Act, a bipartisan bill with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans, has been introduced in the House of Representatives. While supporters of the bill are optimistic about securing additional funding for the ACP, some doubters argue against the widely recognized success of the program. 

A vocal minority of Congress that stands in opposition to the ACP says that not enough people have adopted the program to justify what many consider necessary funding. 22 million households isn't something we can let them brush off. If they slow this bill down and it dies, millions of people are going to lose their ability to participate in everyday life. Passing this bill is well worth it not only to keep people working, educated, and connected but is good for the country as a whole.


The opposition argues that the bill isn’t economically viable - a talking point strongly refuted in a study by Ecotone Analytics, which found that every dollar invested into the program contributes $2.40 towards GDP growth and reduced spending on other social services. Spending $7 billion to fund the program could result in $16.8 billion in returns, based on Ecotone estimates. 


Another study, from ITIF, or Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, found that the ACP program - in 3 years - added $55 billion to the GDP of the United States. This means that the program contributed nearly four times its initial funding value towards the GDP.

 

Affordable Internet isn't Going Anywhere

We're also not waiting for the government to take action. FreeConnect is actively working with our partner providers to ensure affordable internet doesn't go away regardless of funding and will be posting updates here and on our social media pages as we know more. So follow us on social or sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay up to date on what's happening with the ACP and other news surrounding affordable internet.

If you’re worried about losing service after the ACP paused new enrollments on February 7th, know that you can still get free internet service through FreeConnect.  If you have an active ACP benefit with another internet provider you can still transfer to one of FreeConnect’s partners and receive free internet service through April. If you want to transfer your ACP benefit or find out what low-cost plans are available in your area, check out our home page at FreeConnect.us.


xoxo -Freeda
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