The Impact of the Affordable Connectivity Program

family enjoying internet in the home

The FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides a monthly subsidy to eligible, low-income households to connect to broadband service, has been instrumental in getting broadband to more American homes and to advancing digital equity. Here are a few ways that it’s making a difference in getting broadband to those people who need it most.

ACP's Reach

  • To date, ACP has helped connect more than 18 million households to the internet across all ages and across all 50 states.
  • All major cable broadband providers, including Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI, Mediacom, Midco, and Vyve all promote and participate in ACPwhich is further helping to increase broadband adoption across America.

ACP Improves on Past Programs

ACP has already outperformed the previous FCC Lifeline program in the following ways:

  • ACP has more than doubled the number of participating households in just over one year of operation.
  • ACP eliminates the unnecessary and often burdensome requirements of the past, like the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier requirement, resulting in a much broader range of participating providers that can help connect more Americans.
  • Recent data demonstrate more adoption of high-capacity, wired connections at home.

Cable's Broadband Adoption Efforts Tie Into ACP

Cable providers have long implemented robust broadband adoption initiatives catering to various groups, including families with school-aged children eligible for free or reduced school lunch, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and senior citizens. And an important part of their role in closing the digital divide in America includes encouraging households to participate in the ACP and to take advantage of all the benefits the program has to offer.

  • Through establishing strong partnerships with community organizations, state, and local governments, cable providers help to identify qualifying households and educate families about the benefits of broadband.
  • Comcast's Digital Navigators program serves as an exemplary initiative, dispatching trained individuals to provide digital skills training to those without internet access, and to spread awareness about the positive impact that initiatives like the ACP can have on their lives.

ACP Opens Doors

ACP empowers vulnerable families and individuals to gain access to a broadband connection and to unlock the limitless opportunities that the internet provides, including:

  • Applying for jobs online or accessing online education.
  • Gaining digital skills to move up in the workforce.
  • Closing the healthcare availability gap for rural Americans through telehealth services.

The program has been transformative for millions of people who are improving their lives, thanks to the broadband services that are unleashing limitless opportunities for them. To learn more about ACP and the cable industry's role in encouraging broadband adoption, see NCTA's explainer.