In a bid to understand how enrollment is going for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society released a new resource, the ACP Performance Tool.
The new resource can help evaluate, at the community level, enrollment in the FCC program that makes broadband service more affordable for low-income households.
“The Benton Institute is committed to supporting researchers who examine broadband access, adoption, and application, especially when this research focuses on historically marginalized communities,” said Benton Institute for Broadband and Society Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss.
“We are thrilled to share this new resource with communities and policymakers around the nation working to connect some of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Furniss added. “We hope this tool will be used to make more people aware of ACP and its vital importance in closing the digital divide and, importantly, help communities target efforts to increase enrollment.”
To create the new resource, Benton Senior Fellow John Horrigan, Oklahoma State University Professor Brian Whitacre, and University of Southern California Associate Professor Hernan Galperin developed a statistical model that explains 63 percent of the variation in ACP enrollment across more than 25,000 U.S. 5-digit zip codes.
According to the Benton Institute, the ACP Performance Tool “returns zip code-level results showing two important numbers: 1) how many households have signed up for ACP; and 2) the expected number of households to enroll in the program.” The Benton Institute noted that the difference between actual ACP enrollment and expected enrollment is a measure of performance.
“The ACP Performance Tool will enable communities to better understand where ACP enrollment exceeds expectations and where it does not,” said Horrigan. “That will help decision makers target outreach more precisely in areas with the greatest need.” The Benton Institute’s ACP Performance Tool can be found online at http://www.benton.org/acp_tool and is available free of charge.
“Accurate data is essential for policymakers and community organizations working to broaden the reach of the ACP program,” said Galperin. “The new tool will help identify and direct resources to the areas in most need.”