Press Release

Welch Statement on the Future of the Affordable Connectivity Program

Apr 30, 2024

Welch’s funding request moving forward ACP will be reduced to $14 monthly in May, will be depleted after May without action by Congress 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today released the following statement on the future of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and new action on his bipartisan $7 billion funding proposal to save the ACP:  

“The Affordable Connectivity Program has kept 23.3 million households – working families, seniors, veterans, and Tribal communities – connected to the internet they need for their jobs, telehealth appointments, and classes. It’s a program that helps urban and rural communities alike, including nearly 26,000 households in Vermont. But the partial benefit of $14 in May won’t be enough for many households, and Congress needs to act before the program is depleted and families fall into digital darkness,” said Sen. Welch. “This week we’re considering legislation in the Senate Commerce Committee to fully pay for an extension of the ACP. I’m pleased this bill provides the $7 billion for ACP we proposed in the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, and thank Chair Maria Cantwell for her leadership and commitment to the ACP. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle need to immediately support an extension of this program. I’ll keep pushing to ensure Washington keeps families in Vermont and across America stay connected.”

In May, Affordable Connectivity Program subscribers will see their benefits reduced to $14 a month, and benefits will end after next month without action by Congress.  

On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a markup of several bills, including the Spectrum and National Security Act, which provides supplemental funding of $7 billion for ACP, as proposed in the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, through revenues gained from Spectrum auction proceeds.  

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. 

Senator Welch recently took to the Senate Floor and called on his Republican colleagues to join Democrats in supporting the extension of the ACP, which has helped 23.2 million households, including nearly 26,000 in Vermont, get and stay connected to affordable high-speed internet. 

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