Ross, Davis Call to Extend Affordable Connectivity Program Funding in North Carolina

More than 901,000 North Carolina households rely on the program for affordable, high-speed internet access

May 8, 2024

Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Congressman Don Davis (NC-01) led a letter urging House and Senate leadership to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal initiative that offers eligible households discounts on their monthly internet bills and a one-time discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Without additional funding, the program will cease to operate in the coming weeks, jeopardizing affordable broadband access for over 901,000 North Carolina households – about 1 in 5 across the state – that rely on the ACP to access health care, receive an education, and so much more. 

Since the program’s inception, North Carolina has received over $550 million in federal funding, translating to approximately $26.6 million in total monthly savings for North Carolina families. A lapse in funding could exacerbate the digital divide in the state, especially in rural communities with limited internet access, where households could face significant price hikes on their internet bills.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the need for high-speed internet access for telehealth, remote learning, employment opportunities, and other essential services. Low-income households, rural communities, the elderly, and veterans remain especially prone to significant health, economic, and educational disparities due to a lack of internet connectivity. In 2021, to combat these disparities, Congress established the ACP through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the Members wrote.

The Members continued, “Again, we strongly urge you to prioritize a funding extension for the Affordable Connectivity Program using any upcoming legislative vehicle. If funding for this critical program is allowed to lapse, hundreds of thousands of our constituents risk losing access to high-speed internet at a time when they increasingly rely on this connection to get an education, provide for their families, access health care, and participate in our democracy.”

Full text of the letter is available here.