January 28, 2024
The African American Mayors Association Urges Extension Of Affordable Connectivity Program Funding
The organization is requesting that Congress continue funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) has urged congressional leaders to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides high-speed internet service to low-income households nationwide. The coalition issued a statement on Jan. 25.
“We need Congress to act now to extend the ACP,” the letter reads. “If Congress does not act, ACP funding will be exhausted by this April, leaving millions of students and families without access to the Internet. The ACP empowers low-income communities. Access to broadband equips low-income families to compete for better-paying jobs, take advantage of remote work, and more. It is particularly important for communities of color, who have historically been left behind in the digital revolution.”
AAMA President and Mount Vernon, NY, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, spoke about the importance of the ACP on the association’s site. “In today’s interconnected world, affordable high-speed internet is as essential as electricity was a century ago,” she said. “It is the gateway, a vital bridge to the resources that shape our lives – education, healthcare, and economic growth. For millions, particularly in our Black and brown communities, the ACP is not just a program but a promise of opportunity. As its funding teeters on the edge, we stand together as mayors, calling on Congress with urgency and resolve to renew and sustain this fundamental pillar of a modern society.”
The AAMA seeks an additional $7 billion to ensure the program’s continuation.
Since its inception, the ACP has afforded high-speed internet access to more than 20 million low-income families and has positively impacted the lives of communities of color disproportionately affected by these conditions. According to Get Internet, for an individual to qualify for the program, they or their child must be enrolled in a government program such as Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, etc. Eligibility is also determined by household income.
For more information, visit fcc.gov.