To help boost enrollment in its new affordable broadband program, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is partnering with local organizations nationwide to host community outreach events.

The FCC launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – the successor to its Emergency Broadband Benefit program – in January of this year. The $14.2 billion ACP will build on the Emergency Broadband Benefit program’s efforts, which helped almost nine million people to afford internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic. The transition to the new program follows congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As part of ACP, eligible households can receive up to $30 per month discount toward internet service, and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Additionally, eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The announcement of the new outreach program comes shortly after the White House credited the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress last November for helping more than 10 million households to enroll the FCC’s broadband affordability program.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency will join virtually with local partners across the country for ACP promotion events.

“Building trust in new Federal programs means working closely with the leaders and organizations communities already trust. I am grateful for our ACP partners who continue to work with us to connect even more families to the internet they need to thrive in today’s world,” said Rosenworcel. “I’ve said before that this program’s success will be built household by household, and today’s kick off is another meaningful effort to expand the Affordably Connectivity Program’s impact.”

Events began prior to the official launch in late February and are currently slated to run throughout March. The FCC has either partnered or will partner with organizations in Hawaii, Texas, Connecticut, New York, California, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. The FCC said that additional events are being planned.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs