Opinion: Why We Must Fund the Affordable Connectivity Program

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“ACP is not just a program; it’s a recognition that the Internet is a public utility and will become as basic as electricity.

Diane Bondref/Mayor’s Photographic Office

In our digital world, where the Internet is the go-to for education, work, health care and community, 21 million Americans are at risk of losing their connections: funding for this is running out. Affordability Communication Program (ACP).

Too many of our neighbors still lack affordable, reliable Internet access, a phenomenon known as the digital divide. Before the outbreak, 1 in 4 New Yorkers did not have access to the Internet at home — either through broadband or on their mobile devices.

The federally funded Affordable Connections Program is a critical link for communities like the ones I represent in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood. In the year Launched in late 2021, the ACP program offers eligible households a $30 monthly discount on broadband service and has helped connect 21 million Americans in just two years.

But time is running out — unless Congress acts to extend the money, it will run out in spring 2024. As a community organizer and advocate for my constituents for nearly a decade, I wholeheartedly support renewed funding for the ACP.

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