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The Fight to Save the Affordable Connectivity Program

how to save affordable connectivity program

In today's world, the internet is something we all need. It's like having electricity or running water at home. Now, imagine if one day, you couldn't afford the internet anymore. For millions of Americans, especially those who don't have a lot of money, this could soon be a reality. There's a special program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that helps families with less money pay for their internet. But there's a big problem: this program might run out of money soon, and we need to do something about it.

Table of Contents

  • What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

  • What's the Primary Issue?

  • Everyone Agrees, So What's the Hold-Up?

  • What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

  • What Can We Do?

  • The Bottom Line

Why Does It Matter So Much?

Think of the ACP as a helpful friend for families who struggle to pay their bills. Started in 2021, this program helps by giving a discount on internet bills—up to $30 a month, or $75 for families living on tribal lands. This has been a game-changer, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic showed us how important it is to have internet at home. Kids need it for homework, adults for jobs, and everyone for things like doctor's appointments or staying in touch with family.

Right now, over 23 million households, including 800,000 veterans, 1 million college students, and 5 million seniors, enjoy cheaper internet thanks to the ACP. Without it, these people might not be able to afford the internet at all.

What's the Primary Issue?

The issue we're facing is that the ACP's piggy bank is almost empty. By April, if nothing changes, there won't be any money left to help these families. And as of early February, no new families can sign up. This is scary because it means that millions could be left without a way to get online, which today feels as necessary as having heat in the winter or a roof over your head.

Everyone Agrees, So What's the Hold-Up?

You might think that keeping the internet affordable for everyone would be something everyone agrees on, right? Well, you're not wrong. Members of Congress from both parties — the Republicans and Democrats — have said they want to keep the ACP going. They've even come up with a plan to use money left over from COVID-19 funds to keep the program alive. And it's not just them: governors from different states, mayors from over 170 cities, and lots of groups that care about the community and businesses have all said this program is super important.

Why Does It Matter So Much?

Having access to the internet isn't just about being able to watch videos or scroll through social media. It's about having the same chances as everyone else. For kids in school, it's about being able to do research for a project or submit homework online. For adults, it's about finding a job or learning new skills that could help them earn more money. And for seniors, it's often about being able to talk to a doctor without having to leave home.

This program, the ACP, helps make sure that everyone, no matter how much money they have, can do these things. It's about giving everyone a fair shot at success and making sure no one is left out because they can't afford the internet.

What Can We Do?

Now, you might be thinking, "This is all great, but what can I do about it?" There's actually a lot that regular people can do to help. First, talking about it helps. The more people know about the ACP and why it's important, the more likely it is that something will be done to save it. You can also reach out to your representatives in Congress. These are the people who make decisions about where money goes, and if they hear from enough people that the ACP is important, they might work faster to save it.

The Bottom Line

The ACP is more than just a discount program; it's a way to make sure everyone has access to the opportunities that come with being connected to the internet. As we move further into the 21st century, being online is no longer optional; it's essential. We're at a critical moment where we need to decide if we're going to make sure everyone can stay connected or if we're going to leave millions of families behind.

Congress has a big job to do, and doing it sooner rather than later is key. It's about keeping the promise of the internet: that everyone, no matter where they live or how much money they have, can be part of the digital world. The ACP has been a lifeline for millions, and now it's up to all of us to make sure that lifeline isn't cut.

So let's talk about it, write about it, and reach out to those who can make a difference. Together, we can make sure that the internet remains open and accessible to everyone, keeping America connected, today and in the future.


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