Together with Online For All, we're spreading the word about the Affordable Connectivity Program

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Today, the White House begins a Week of Action for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) by launching “Online for All” – a joint ACP outreach initiative led by Civic Nation and the U.S. Department of Education that leverages large-scale mobilization and local community efforts to drive awareness of the ACP.

Verizon is proud to be a national partner of Online for All. As a partner, we are excited to support the Online for All ACP Week of Action (June 14-22), which starts today to help raise awareness about ACP. We are hosting and participating in 50+ enrollment activities across the country during this week, including events and other outreach opportunities at local community anchor institutions, housing developments, and job fairs. Learn more about Online for All and the ACP Week of Action.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a critical tool in closing the digital divide. It has enabled millions of vulnerable households to obtain broadband for free. Passed as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the ACP is leveraging competition in the marketplace and $14.2 billion in Federal investments to help low-income consumers get online with high quality broadband. The ACP has been key to connecting nearly 18 million households to the internet, which is why it’s so important to raise awareness about this critical program to reach those who might need it but don’t know that it exists.

At Verizon, we recognize the importance of internet connectivity in the digital age, and we have supported the ACP since its inception. We apply the ACP to our wireless and wireline broadband service offerings nationwide, including providing free TracFone prepaid services to ACP-qualified customers or free home internet service through Verizon Forward – a program that provides ACP-qualified customers with Verizon 5G Home or Verizon Fios service. Learn more about our ACP offerings.

The availability of the ACP program and these offerings are only part of the equation when it comes to addressing the affordability needs of vulnerable households. Eligible households need to know about the ACP benefit and have an opportunity to enroll – with assistance if needed. That’s why we’re also focused on outreach efforts, including through Online for All. However, Verizon has been active in raising public awareness for the ACP and creating easily accessible opportunities for consumers to enroll long before this week. For example, last year, in collaboration with New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and community partners, we held over 80 ACP sign-up events at NYCHA developments across the five boroughs, reaching over 9,000 residents. We also have partnered with the Atlanta Housing Authority since 2022 to educate the community about ACP and enroll eligible participants. Our outreach activities covered 10 Atlanta housing communities, community colleges, and will continue until the end of the year. These are just a few examples of our ACP outreach work that will continue long after this current week of action ends.

The ACP is an unprecedented program and an essential tool to ensure that all Americans, in both urban and rural areas, can enjoy the numerous benefits that come with being online and can fully participate in the digital economy. Funding for the program, however, is projected to run out as early as the middle of 2024. To keep everyone online, Congress should develop a plan to continue funding for the ACP while also developing long-term reforms to enhance other current broadband subsidy programs. 

With the help of the ACP, we’ve made so much progress in closing the digital divide in a short time, it is imperative that we build on these accomplishments and not backtrack.

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