Working together to bring affordable broadband to more Americans
By Kathy Grillo, Verizon SVP Public Policy and Government Affairs
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Today, the White House held a Rose Garden event announcing that 20 leading internet providers—covering more than 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas—are offering Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans at no cost. The commitments broadband providers like Verizon have made and celebrated at today’s event will make ACP even more impactful, allowing tens of millions of ACP-eligible households to receive high-speed internet for free.
Over 11.5 million low-income homes are now receiving financial support through the Federal Communications Commission’s ACP program, and tens of millions more households are eligible for the program. Numerous stakeholders are helping expand the impact of this program by leading public awareness campaigns, assisting potential recipients with the sign up process and evangelizing about the many ways broadband can help improve daily life. At a time when low income families in particular are struggling to keep up with escalating costs for everything from gas, to electricity and groceries, thanks to the ACP, vulnerable families have options to get and stay connected to broadband free of charge. We applaud the Congress for crafting the ACP and appreciate the commitment the Biden Administration and the FCC have shown to establish and promote this historic program.
Verizon was an active supporter of establishing a robust broadband subsidy program like ACP, and has been a participant in the program since day one. We believe that the public and private sector must work together to ensure vulnerable households can benefit from the power of broadband connectivity. This ACP is a historic step forward in closing the digital divide, and we are proud to participate in it. We went a step further last March to debut an enhanced Fios offering for ACP-eligible households that delivers uncapped, market-leading download and upload speeds of at least 200 megabits at no cost after application of the ACP subsidy. That means ACP participants who subscribe to Fios get effectively free broadband, with no additional fees or hidden charges.
Verizon is proud of our work to help more families connect to the internet. While we know that there are numerous non-cost barriers to broadband adoption, cost can be a significant factor in whether a low-income family subscribes to broadband service. And even though broadband prices have gone down over the past five years, the ACP subsidy is a vital resource to support vulnerable households that still may struggle to afford broadband. As the President and Vice President recognized, Verizon’s Fios Forward program for ACP-eligible homes, along with similar offerings from other broadband companies, will help more families benefit from the power of a high-speed internet connection, which will equip them to participate in the digital economy.