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A Vote is Set - Will the Affordable Connectivity Program be Funded Once Again?

It’s been over 30 days since the last fully-funded month of the Affordable Connectivity Program, which helped nearly 30 million Americans get access to affordable internet service (a very big deal). Since funding ran dry, there’s been little to no progress on an extension - that is, until now. (It’s about damn time)

We just got word that funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) funding is headed for a vote on June 12th, which could give millions of Americans access to free internet.

When is the Vote?

Enter Maria Cantwell, Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee. She wrote up a bill to once again fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) - and it’s scheduled for a vote on June 12th. 

When Can I Get My ACP Benefit Again?

In the best-case scenario, the ACP would return on July 1st, once again allowing low-income households to qualify for free and reduced-cost internet service thanks to a $30 monthly bill credit. The first version of the program was widely viewed as a success, with 23 million households signing up to receive the monthly ACP benefit. When the money ran out, many who participated were forced to give up their internet service due to unaffordable costs. If this bill passes, you’ll be able to start an ACP application and get a monthly discount once more. 

How is This Time Different?

A few senators and members of Congress have tried before to pass funding for the ACP and haven’t gained the needed support, so what makes Chairwoman Cantwell’s bill different? 

Well, included is $3B in funding for the popular ‘rip and replace’ program. Essentially, the US Government has deemed certain internet equipment - namely Huawei and ZTE routers - to be national security threats. The R&R program provides internet companies with resources to remove these routers and replace them with approved and widely used American routers. 

Could the Affordable Connectivity Program Become Permanent?

Though this bill only provides a year’s worth of funding for the ACP, there’s a really good chance that it gets added as a permanent part of the USF, or Universal Service Fund. This basically means that the program would be permanently funded in some capacity as a part of regular government budgeting forever. 

We’ll be keeping a close eye on all information up until June 12th, and we’ll drop an update on the result of the vote and what it means for people looking to get free home internet. 

Looking for more info on why the ACP is a win for everyone? Peep this article here

Also, you can still contact your senators and let them know how the ACP has impacted you! Until the program is officially approved, we need to keep lighting a fire under our representatives! 

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Jul 12

I found the cheapest internet plan I could and really having a hard time hearing on my phone we need this to be refunded as a senior citizens and with Medicare payments and Supplements we pay out enough. This was a big help we should be funded on help with the service. If the Administration can fly Hunter Biden around in a Government jet and let that druggie live in our White House then helping use in fixed income should be funded. I need a new phone or something with a decent connection. Thanks for your time, Carolyn Dupree

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