LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We must find a funding solution

Published 12:35 pm Saturday, July 22, 2023

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The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an invaluable program in which over 18 million American households are currently enrolled. It enables eligible Americans to afford an internet subscription by providing a monthly voucher. When combined with low-income offerings from many leading providers that participate, this voucher can make internet subscriptions free for qualifying low-income families.

Unfortunately, ACP is likely to run out of funds early next year unless Congress pushes for more funding from the White House.

In response to our country’s increased reliance on high-speed internet, both the Trump Administration and current administration have taken important steps to provide connectivity to those that need it, especially in rural areas with this program. The threat of ACP’s expiration could eliminate internet access for over 750,000 North Carolinians who rely on the program.

We all can list just how beneficial it is to have high-speed internet and all the essential resources that come with it.

Without it, some people don’t have the capabilities to work remotely, to access needed information, to search for jobs and to pursue an online education.

If low-income families can’t afford internet access, it will set them at a significant disadvantage.

Our federal policymakers must understand that combating affordability barriers are essential to getting Americans online. We have this wonderful program set in place that has already benefited 18 million Americans.

We need to find a funding solution soon so that this critical program remains intact, and those 18 million Americans do not lose their high-speed internet access.

Zach Almond