Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
The Importance of Extending the Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was passed into law by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. It aims to provide internet access to households with an income of less than 60% of the median income. Eligible households receive a $30 per month voucher for internet service ($75 monthly on tribal lands) and a $100 credit for a laptop, tablet, or other tech upgrades.

The internet has become increasingly important in our daily lives. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of people working from home tripled between 2019 and 2021. Many Floridians still work in remote or hybrid positions. In addition, the internet is vital for the job application process, as it allows employers to access a larger pool of applicants. It also benefits job seekers by helping them find better-paying jobs.

Unfortunately, reliable broadband access is still lacking for many Floridians, especially in economically depressed and rural areas. The ACP presents an effective solution to this challenge. Enrollment in Florida has reached approximately 1.4 million, or 38% of eligible households. A study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office has shown that the ACP helps bridge the digital divide and has the potential to create an additional 260,000 jobs per year nationally.

Extending the ACP has broad bipartisan support among voters. It would allow low-income families to participate in the digital marketplace, unlocking their full economic potential. Florida TaxWatch urges Congress to continue funding the ACP to ensure that low-income households in Florida can remain connected and thrive in the digital age.