Biden-Harris Administration announced over $73 million in outreach grants to connect more Americans with affordable, high-speed internet
Over 16.75 million households are now saving over $500 million per month, thanks to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new funding to lower the cost of high-speed internet, releasing $73 million in Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grants to help more Americans sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program and save on monthly internet costs.
In the 21st century, affordable, reliable high-speed internet is key to opportunity – to access education, healthcare, work, precision agriculture and keep in touch with loved ones. Still, too many are left without high-speed internet because they lack the infrastructure, or are inhibited by high costs or lack of technological skills. In particular, these inequities impact communities of color, rural communities and older Americans where the lack of affordable, reliable high-speed internet contributes to significant economic, health and other disparities.
That’s why President Biden and Vice President Harris worked with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to make sweeping changes to lower the cost of internet for families across the country as part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America Agenda, including a record $65 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make sure all Americans finally have access to affordable, high-speed internet.
Already, 16.75 million households are saving over $500 million per month on high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program. Now, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing an additional $73 million in Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grants to help more Americans sign up for the program and save on internet costs. These investments include:
- $66 million in the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Program to drive awareness and enrollment in the country’s newest and largest broadband affordability program in the nation’s history. Building on its current community partnerships, the FCC is providing financial support to partner organizations nationwide to serve as trusted community messengers for the Affordable Connectivity Program and equip them with funding to pursue innovative outreach strategies to reach historically underserved communities, including money set aside for outreach to households on Tribal lands. The FCC selected 197 applicants representing 50 states and territories to pursue a broad range of outreach projects to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program. Partner organizations will now be able to use grant funds to conduct digital campaigns, door-to-door canvassing, operate phone banks, distribute direct mail, and host ACP application enrollment and outreach events. Of the 197 applicants selected for funding, 177 represent governmental and non-governmental entities from the National Competitive Outreach Program (NCOP), with $60 million in funding. The remaining 20 represent governmental and non-governmental funding recipients from the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program (TCOP), which is providing over $6 million in funding for ACP outreach and enrollment support targeting eligible households that live on qualifying Tribal lands
- Over $7 million in outreach grants to support two additional one-year, pilot programs to raise awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program. The two pilot programs will test a variety of methods to reach out to federal housing communities, and work with trusted third parties to assist consumers in applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program. The FCC has selected for grant funding 23 applicants for the Your Home, Your Internet Program and 9 applicants for the ACP Navigator Pilot Program. The Your Home, Your Internet Program is receiving over $4.9 million in funding allocation to increase awareness and encourage participation in the ACP for households receiving federal housing assistance; and the ACP Navigator Pilot Program is receiving over $2.4 million in funding allocations to provide a limited number of neutral, trusted third-party entities, such as schools and school districts, or other local, Tribal or state government entities, to assist consumers with applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Driving Down Costs through the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program, authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is the largest internet affordability program in our nation’s history. The effort to bring high-speed, affordable internet to every American household is part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda, and the resources secured through the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are helping make critical progress toward that goal.
The Affordable Connectivity Program, administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides eligible households up to $30/month (or up to $75/month on qualifying Tribal lands) off internet bills, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 off a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. To further lower costs, in May 2022, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced commitments from internet service providers across the country to offer high-speed plans that are fully covered by the Affordable Connectivity Program—meaning millions of working families can now get high-speed internet without paying a dime. They simultaneously launched GetInternet.gov—a one-stop shop to check eligibility and sign up.
In July 2022, the Vice President made a call to action to states and federal agencies to help spread the word about the Affordable Connectivity Program. This call to action led to tens of millions of text messages, emails, letters and flyers sent directly to consumers to inform them about this opportunity.
Last month, Vice President Harris announced that the Affordable Connectivity Program is now reaching over 16 million households, saving Americans over half-a-billion dollars per month. This is a more than 40% increase since the announcement of GetInternet.gov.
The Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative will ensure that everyone in America has access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet. For more information about how the Biden-Harris Administration is working to connect everyone in America, you can visit www.internetforall.gov. To sign-up for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can visit www.getinternet.gov.
Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/03/15/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-actions-to-lower-high-speed-internet-costs/