Some FL providers will continue to offer low-cost internet packages even as Covid-era federal program ends |  News

Some FL providers will continue to offer low-cost internet packages even as Covid-era federal program ends | News

As Friday marks the last official day of the pandemic-era Affordable Connectivity Program, the Biden administration is highlighting commitments from more than a dozen internet service providers to offer $30 or less plans to low-income households. income until 2024.

This comes as Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the short-term program had to end due to a lack of funding, which both she and President Joe Biden continue to urge Congress to restore.

For more than 23 million households, the Affordable Connectivity Program has provided up to $30 in monthly discounts on internet bills for eligible families and up to $75 per month for those on qualified tribal lands.

“The (Affordable Connectivity Program) filled an important gap that low-income provider programs, state and local affordability programs, and the Lifeline program cannot fully address,” Rosenworcel wrote in letters to congressional leaders Thursday. .

“Millions of ACP households across the country, and households that may be eligible but have not yet enrolled, are waiting for Congress to provide the funding needed to keep the ACP running.”

Separately, the Lifeline program provides a $9.25 monthly broadband service benefit to eligible households, according to the FCC.

But the commission said this is not a replacement for ACP and that “not all ACP households will qualify for Lifeline and, by law, many ACP providers are not eligible to participate in the Lifeline program.”

Rosenworcel has sent monthly letters to congressional leaders outlining the need for additional funds to keep the low-cost Internet program running.

His additional letters Thursday were addressed to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations panels, including Reps. David Joyce of Ohio and Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Sens. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee.

Rosenworcel sent another round of letters to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington and Ted Cruz of Texas, and the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The House of Representatives. , Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Frank Pallone of New Jersey.

In his most recent letter, Rosenworcel said it was “regrettable” that the FCC must end the “most successful broadband affordability program in our nation’s history.”

He highlighted some of the potential impacts of ending the program for many military families and millions of households with school-aged children enrolled in the program.

Additionally, Rosenworcel said, “the end of the ACP will also affect approximately 3.4 million rural households and more than 300,000 households in tribal areas.”

Meanwhile, the administration said more than a dozen providers have committed to offering “their current ACP subscribers and other eligible households a high-speed Internet plan for $30 per month or less, with no fees or data caps, until end of 2024.”

Providers include:

– Alofiber

– High fiber

– Hawaiian Telecommunications

– Amazing broadband




– IdeaTek



– Optimal;

– Spectrum and charter communications)

– starry


– Vermont Telephone Company

According to the administration, together, the providers cover up to 10 million households enrolled in the program.

In October, Biden asked Congress for $6 billion in a supplemental funding request to maintain GPA funding through the end of 2024.

This story appeared on the website of the Florida Phoenix, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering state government and Tallahassee politics.