NY 51 City Council Members Back ACP program in New Letter

NY 51 City Council Members Back ACP program in New Letter

As the money for the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity program ended in April 2024, many low-income families in the United States are left without affordable internet access.

On Monday, 51 New York City Council Members signed a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer to renew the funding for the ACP program.

ACP is an important federal government program that helped 1 million low-income families in the United States to afford internet access by giving them a $30 discount on monthly internet services.

Not only that, the ACP discount was up to $70 on tribal lands, and there was a one-time $100 ACP discount to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

The program was truly dedicated to bridging the digital gap, and now that it’s ending, many political people are fighting with the government to restore its funding.

In a letter to Chuck Schumer, council members said, “We, all 51 members of the City Council, urge you to renew funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP provides essential financial assistance for high-speed internet access and is crucial to closing the digital divide.

They added “High-speed internet connectivity affords people expanded options for an education, to participate in the workforce, to access vital services like health care, and to connect with family and friends around the world.”

The ACP program was started in December 2021 during the COVID-19 as a replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

NY 51 City Council Member Back ACP program in New Letter
NY 51 City Council Members Back ACP program in New Letter

According to the letter, “When the program started, about a quarter of New York City households lacked a broadband subscription. Black, Latino, low-income, and senior households are even less likely to have access to high-speed

The Center for an Urban Future estimates that close to 1 million households in New York City are part of the ACP, which represents over 4 percent of all ACP-participating households across the city’s five boroughs.

Furthermore, under ACP, families of all New York City Public Schools students can now receive subsidies for monthly high-speed broadband, enhancing internet connectivity for the nearly thirteen percent of students previously without adequate home access.

New York City Council Member Julie Won, who organized the letter, said, “The pandemic proved that internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. Work, school, doctors’ appointments, and government services all moved online,”

He added, “For the first time in my council class, all 51 council members are united. We unanimously speak for all New Yorkers in calling for the federal government (to) renew funding for ACP immediately for digital equity.”

It’s very rare that all 51 council members agree on the same thing. Now, it’s up to the government to consider this decision and pass a verdict to restore funding for the ACP program.

In the meantime, many service providers are developing discount plans for low-income people so they can continue to have affordable Internet access.

About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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