The ACP High-Cost Benefit Isn’t Going to Break the ACP Bank

In the bi-partisan 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Congress decided to provide a larger Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit in high-cost areas—up to $75/month, compared to the standard $30/month benefit. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quietly announced that service providers could start filing applications on January 17, 2024, to become eligible to receive this larger benefit. This new benefit is unlikely, however, to significantly increase ACP outlays in the coming year because it only is available in limited areas, where there are few consumers, and few service providers may choose to participate.

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