Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $700 Million to Connect People in Remote and Rural Areas to High-Speed Internet

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $700 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 22 states and the Marshall Islands to reliable, affordable high-speed internet through the ReConnect Program, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This program is uniquely designed to fund the most difficult high-speed internet projects in the nation, which are the most rural, remote and unserved communities.

Read more from USDA here.

Broadband for all: The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits households across party lines

Discussions about funding for social programs are too often framed along predictable partisan lines. However, the reality on the ground is frequently more complex, and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is no exception. A simple look at the data reveals that the program supports connectivity for families in both red and blue communities, and that Republicans stand to lose as much as Democrats if the program is not renewed when the funds run out sometime in 2024.

To learn more, click here.

FCC Announces Over $13.9 Million in Emergency Connectivity Funding

On July 12, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission announced it is committing over $13.9 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, which provides digital tools and services to support students in communities across the country. Today’s funding commitment supports applications from the third application window, benefitting approximately 35,000 students nationwide, including students in California, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

For more information, click here.

Verizon extends a helping hand to Vermont and New York State communities amid historic flooding

As historic and ongoing flooding continues to impact parts of the Northeast, Verizon is offering support in the hardest hit areas. Starting immediately through July 20, anyone from any carrier can visit select Verizon stores and authorized retailers in the affected regions to access free device charging services and bottled water.

To learn more, click here.

ACP is a digital ladder of opportunity

Bipartisan support for federal broadband programs is bringing affordable, high-speed internet service to millions of Americans in rural and other underserved communities. But even as the White House celebrates progress toward the vision of universal connectivity, one key cornerstone of this bipartisan progress — the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) — is only months away from running out of funding.

To learn more, click here.

5G deadline caused ‘minimal disruption’ to aviation, says FAA

The July 1st deadline for passenger jets to upgrade their altimeters to address potential 5G interference has come and gone, and according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aviation industry has seen “minimal disruption” as a result.

The FAA further confirmed that more than 85% of the domestic commercial airline fleet and about 66% of the international fleet are equipped with radio altimeters that can operate safely in the U.S. 5G C-band environment. 

To learn more, click here.

The ACP has Been a Success, but Closing the Digital Divide Requires Future ACP Funding

On June 14th, the White House kicked off a “week of action” devoted to raising awareness and enrollment for the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”). Nationally, only 18.7 million of the eligible 52 million households (35.8%) are enrolled in the program. This is a truly outstanding achievement for a program that is only a year and a half old. More importantly, the ACP has had a profound effect on the lives of individual enrollees.

To learn more about the importance of funding this program, click here.

White House announces over $40B for broadband deployment

The White House on June 26, 2023 announced how the federal government will distribute over $40 billion in funding for broadband through the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. According to numbers released by the Biden administration, the most funding will go to the state of Texas, at $3.3 billion, followed by California ($1.8 billion) and Missouri ($1.7 billion).

To learn more click here.

Why Congress Must Save the Affordable Connectivity Program

As the past three years have made clear, the importance of digital connectivity is here to stay — and access should be considered a 21st century civil and human right. Reliable internet is essential for work, education, health care, news and information, and access to critical government services and programs. It provides telemedicine to seniors and veterans, plugs the homework gap by enabling children to learn at home, and creates immediate and long-lasting economic benefits.

To learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program click here.

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