ACLU Statement in Support of Presidential Ask for Additional Funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program

Expanding resources for the program will help keep 21 millions households stay connected to the Internet

October 26, 2023 2:00 pm

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union thanks the Biden Administration for urging Congress to appropriate $6 billion to keep the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) funded through 2024 in its domestic budget request. To date, the ACP has helped more than 21 million households pay for their internet.

This program has proved so popular that it is slated to run out of funding by early-to-mid 2024. Without the ACP, the households who rely on it are at risk of losing internet connection.

“We are grateful that the Biden Administration has demonstrated its commitment to closing the digital divide by urging Congress to appropriate $6 billion to keep the program afloat throughout 2024,” said Jenna Leventoff, senior policy counsel at the ACLU. “However, $6 billion is not enough. We urge Congress to act quickly to appropriate at least $7 billion, so that their constituents can stay connected throughout next year’s holiday season, and, ideally, beyond.”

Broadband access is about more than the internet. It’s an issue of systemic equality. Communities living without broadband access are disproportionately non-white, low income, or rural. Without broadband, our communities cannot access equal opportunities in education, employment, banking, and other vital components of daily life. It is also one of the main avenues used to exercise First Amendment rights. The ACLU joins an array of civil rights, consumer and industry groups advocating for necessary funding to keep Americans connected.

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