With the request, the Biden Administration is now urging Congress to follow through with funding
The White House’s recent request for additional funding from Congress to bolster the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has been met with commendation from leading voices in the telecommunications industry.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the Biden Administration announced the request for additional funding to bolster the ACP by extending free and discounted high-speed internet for eligible households through December 2024.
In a statement released after President Joseph Biden’s funding request was announced, the Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) said the ACP is poised to continue playing a critical role in the affordability of services that can connect Americans.
“NTCA members have been active participants in the Affordable Connectivity Program, and a number of their customers rely upon the support this program provides to pay for broadband services month after month,” said Shirley Bloomfield, the NTCA’s CEO.
She said the NTCA applauds the Biden Administration “for identifying the need for additional funding to prolong the effectiveness of the ACP program in its supplemental appropriations request.”
“We hope that this program that enjoys such widespread support will continue to play an important role in keeping Americans connected,” she said.
Biden’s supplemental funding request followed a weekend letter penned by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) that was delivered to the administration.
Matsui, who serves as a ranking member on the communications and technology subcommittee, expressed concern that the ACP would expire in early 2024 without additional funding.
“If this vital program were even to briefly lapse, it would undue years of progress closing the digital divide,” she wrote.
The White House said the ACP, which was enacted under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, “is already helping over 21 million households save over $500 million per month on their monthly internet bills.”
Angela Siefer, the executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), also applauded the president’s $6 billion funding request for the ACP.
“Along with librarians, digital navigators, and nonprofit leaders from 1,500 organizations nationwide, NDIA celebrates the White House’s renewed commitment to providing internet for all,” she said, according to a statement published on NDIA’s website.
With the request, which also includes funding requests for additional defense spending and disaster relief, Biden is now urging Congress to follow through with funding.
According to the White House, Biden is requesting the money be allocated as an emergency request as part of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities,” the president said in a statement. “I urge Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.”