Today we’ve hit a milestone in the life of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) none of us wanted to see—its end. As of today, May 31st, 2024, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has officially expired. The month of May was already a partial benefit month, so many of the folks you serve may have already been without the benefit for a few weeks. But after today, no one will benefit from the program for the foreseeable future. We are deeply saddened by the end of a program that helped 23 million households get and stay online. And we’re committed to fighting for a national, sustainable affordable broadband solution. Since we last updated the NDIA community, not much has changed on the prognosis for bridge funding for the program, but we thought it still worthwhile to document where things are. 

  1. The ACP gap begins today. No matter what happens, even if Congress acts next week, there will be a gap in support. If Congress acts quickly, the gap will be shorter. But, it could also be a very long gap. With the gridlock in Washington, we may not get a short-term, gap funding bill (like we’ve been advocating for) passed before a long-term solution. And the long-term solution may be a long way off too given the gridlock and reality of getting legislation through in an election year. 
  1. There is hope for ACP’s renewal. There’s a bi-partisan bill in the Senate (S4317) gaining steam and momentum. It’s led by Senator Lujan and currently co-sponsored by Senators: Vance (R-OH), Welch (D-VT), Wicker (R-MS), Rosen (D-NV), Daines (R-MT), Fetterman (D-PA), and Cramer (R-ND). We hear more co-sponsors are signing on. Representative Williams (R-NY-22) also introduced a bill in the House. The Williams bill is not bi-partisan and contains some key differences from the Lujan bill. Yet, the fact that some members of Congress are still championing the program and working on solutions is promising. We’ll continue to keep y’all posted on progress on these or any other legislative solutions. And we’ll also keep you posted on ways you can support these efforts.
  1. This may be a long fight, but we’ll keep fighting. NDIA will continue advocating for a federal affordable broadband program solution. As we all know, the program was wildly successful because it worked. It helped millions of people get and stay online. There is no other solution that is nearly as effective at making broadband affordable. So NDIA will continue to advocate for a national affordable broadband program and will continue to work with all of you to do so.
  1. Some Internet Service Providers may offer low-cost plans. The White House announced today that 14 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have committed to offering at least one internet plan that is $30 or less, open to ACP-eligible households, and has no fees or data caps through the end of 2024. NDIA encourages all ISPs to adopt low-cost plans. If you are an ISP and don’t know where to start, check out our low-cost model where we break down best practices sourced from our community of experts.
  1. Leverage NDIA’s resources to support your community in the ACP transition. We’ve co-created many resources with NDIA affiliates for digital inclusion practitioners’ use. Including our wind-down resources, our low-cost plans page, our low-cost model, and soon we’ll rate low-costs plans released by providers so you can help consumers find plans that are best for them. 

As ever, we’re so grateful for you and all you do to advance digital equity. We may have lost this battle temporarily but we are confident we’ll see a day again where broadband affordability is addressed comprehensively nationwide.