Press Release

ICYMI: Sen. Welch, Rep. Clarke Issue Statement Following FCC Warning of Nationwide Impact of Final Month for ACP

May 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Yesterday, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.-09) released the below statement following the final notice to Congress from FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel on the nationwide impact of the official wind down of the Affordable Connectivity Program: 

“Access to high-speed internet has become a necessity in our everyday lives, from scheduling doctors’ appointments, to attending class, and doing your job. But for too many households, the cost of high-speed broadband has prevented them from getting connected,” said Senator Welch, Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology. “In the two years since its creation, the ACP has been instrumental in helping nearly 23 million households including families, students, veterans, and seniors stay connected to their work, school, and doctors. But right now, we’re at the end of the line–Congress must pass our bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act to prevent millions of people across the country from falling into digital darkness.” 

“For over two years, the ACP has provided tens of millions of Americans in every corner of our nation with reliable, high-speed broadband at a price they can afford. According to the FCC, nearly 70 percent of these households had no or very limited internet access before the ACP. The end of this program would have devastating consequences. No family should have to choose between putting food on the table and having internet access essential for modern life. Congress must act swiftly, and pass the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act. Lives, jobs, and futures are on the line. Congress must act now to protect this program – before it’s too late,” said Rep. Clarke

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act is cosponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). U.S. Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) are leading the legislation in the House along with 223 additional cosponsors. 

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act is supported by over 400 organizations, including: AARP, American Civil Liberties Union, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Communications Workers of America, Cox Communications, CTIA – The Wireless Association, INCOMPAS, NAACP, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, T-Mobile, USTelecom, Verizon, Wireless Infrastructure Association, and WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband. 

Due to a lack of funding, the Federal Communications Commission began winding down the program in January 2024. April was the last month households received the full $30 discount. In May, some may receive a partial discount, but without action from Congress, the ACP will end after May 2024. 

Read more about the bill here and see state-by-state data on the ACP here