Common Sense Media Applauds the Introduction of the Bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10, 2024—Today, Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Sens. Peter Welch (D-VT), JD Vance (R-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024 (ACP Extension Act). In response, Amina Fazlullah, head of tech policy advocacy at Common Sense Media, issued the following statement:
"Common Sense Media welcomes the introduction of the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024 and thanks Reps. Clarke and Fitzpatrick, and Sens. Welch, Vance, Rosen, and Cramer, for their leadership at this critical moment for connectivity in America. Without an extension, the program is estimated to run out of funds in April, and recipients and providers desperately need certainty that this program will not lapse.
By passing this bill, Congress will ensure that millions of struggling Americans can afford high-speed internet connectivity at home. Our research found that there is a persistent digital divide that follows students throughout their K–12 career. The ACP is the only program designed to provide consistent affordability support that ensures that students have continuous access to home internet as they rise from one grade to the next.
If Congress fails to extend this program quickly, millions of families across the country will be at risk of losing this benefit in the middle of this school year. The lapse of ACP would also negatively impact families in rural communities who are about to benefit from historic investments in broadband infrastructure deployment. Additional research found that without the ACP, providers building broadband in rural communities would face increased costs. We look forward to working closely with Reps. Clarke and Fitzpatrick, Sens. Welch, Vance, Rosen, and Cramer, and their colleagues to quickly pass this bill and secure continued funding for the ACP."
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which Common Sense has supported since 2021, is a bipartisan program that is currently helping over 22 million households across the country connect to high-speed internet service. The proposed funding extension is needed to ensure that vulnerable kids and families can continue to access educational resources, jobs, and health care, among other critical services.
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