Press Release

Welch: FCC’s Dire Warning About End of ACP is a Wake-Up Call to Congress That Action is Needed Now. 

Mar 4, 2024

Welch is Leading the Bipartisan, Bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act to Keep Nearly 23 Million Americans Connected 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today reacted to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) formal notice to Internet Service Providers that, without action by Congress, April is the final full month the Affordable Connectivity Program will be funded. Today’s announcement comes after FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s notice to Congress in January that the FCC would be forced to freeze new enrollments for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Sen. Welch is the lead Sponsor of the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, which would provide $7 billion for the ACP and help keep households enrolled in the program connected. 

“We live in a world where high-speed internet is essential to our daily lives, from attending school, to getting medical care—and everything in between. Today the FCC warned in no uncertain terms that, without congressional action to fund the ACP, April will be the final month of this critical affordability program. We cannot let millions of families across the country fall into digital darkness. Congress needs to bring up the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act and save this vital program. We don’t have time on our side—action is needed now,” said Senator Welch

Senator Welch, along with Sens. JD Vance (R-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide $7 billion for the program. U.S. Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) have led the introduction of a bipartisan companion bill in the House of Representatives. 

In January, Sen. Welch spoke on the Senate floor about how important the ACP is to Vermont, and called on Congress to fully fund the program so families can stay connected. Over 25,000 Vermont households are enrolled in the ACP. Since its implementation, over 23 million households across the country have utilized the program’s monthly discount of up to $30 for internet service, and up to $75 monthly for those living on Tribal lands.