The Leadership Conference & Over 230 Groups Urge Robust ACP Funding

View PDF of this letter here.

June 23, 2023

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, and the over 230 undersigned civil society organizations, municipal governments, and other interested groups, we write to request robust additional funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Today, the ACP’s current rate of expenditure is roughly $500 million per month. Based on this and projected growth, funding for the ACP could be exhausted by Q2 of next year, if not sooner.[1] Without adequate and sustained funding, millions of vulnerable Americans currently relying on the program would see their internet bill jump or be disconnected entirely, and Congress’ bipartisan $42 billion investment in broadband deployment will not meet the goal of universal broadband deployment and adoption.

Broadband access at home is universally recognized as a necessity. It is the essential infrastructure of the 21st century, and the signers of this letter are committed to ensuring that all communities, particularly those who are underserved, gain and continue to have access to affordable, reliable, and high-quality advanced communications services. Lack of high-speed internet access among low-income people, communities of color, and other underserved communities is of particular concern, and the ACP has proven critical in getting households in these communities online.

The last three years demonstrate that broadband internet service is indispensable for employment, education, health care, commerce, community building, civic engagement, and government services. The high cost of service, however, prevents access for countless households across the United States.[2]

Thanks to Congress’ action, the ACP now helps more than 17 million households in America afford broadband internet, with enrollment continuing to increase steadily.[3] These households collectively save more than $500 million per month on internet expenses,[4] while the program drives economic growth, higher incomes, and lower unemployment.[5] The ACP is currently improving telehealth access for more than 3 million low-income seniors and 400,000 veterans, expanding access to education for more than 3 million students, and providing more economic opportunities to more than 1 million federal housing residents.[6] Broadband strengthens communities by creating immediate and long-lasting economic benefits and provides economic improvements for everyone — from rural areas that then become more attractive to businesses and workers, to cities facing aging and inadequate broadband infrastructure. For example, one study demonstrated the employment effects of subsidized broadband resulted in just over $2,200 of benefits per household through increased labor force participation.[7]

Failure to extend the ACP with new funding could result in the biggest loss of internet connectivity ever. Without action from Congress this year, millions of households could immediately lose service.[8] In addition, the loss of ACP would reduce the efficacy of Congress’ groundbreaking $42 billion investment in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. A recent study concluded that the ACP reduces the size of the subsidy needed to incentivize broadband deployment in rural areas by 25 percent.[9] ACP makes BEAD program dollars go farther. Sustained funding is critical as broadband companies and others consider the level of public and private investment needed to fulfill Congress’ goal of universal affordable broadband deployment and adoption.

Thank you for the work you have done already to make high-speed internet affordable and accessible across the country and for your attention to the critical concerns we have raised here. If you have any questions about the issues raised in this letter, please feel free to contact Anita Banerji, senior director of the media/tech program, at [email protected], or Jonathan Walter, media/tech policy counsel, at [email protected].


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights


18 Million Rising

Access Living

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality


AHIMA Foundation


Alliance for Community Media

Alliance for Digital Equity (Western Massachusetts)

Alternate ROOTS

American Association of People with Disabilities

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of Teachers

American Library Association

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

AR Designs

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

Asian Health Services

Asian Human Services

Astound Broadband

Austin Free-Net

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Baltimore County Public Library

Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition

Baystate Health


Benefits Data Trust

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Bitwise Impact


Byte Back

California Emerging Technology Fund

CanCode Communities

Carroll Technology & Innovation Council

Center for Changing Lives

Center for Democracy & Technology

Center for Digital Equity at Queens University of Charlotte

Center for Independence

Center for Rural Strategies

Center for Work Education and Employment -CWEE

Chicago Jobs Council

Chicago Urban League

City and County of Denver

City of Chicago

City of Cleveland

City of Philadelphia

City of Portland

City of San Antonio

City of San Jose

Civic Nation

Claris Healthcare

Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues

CNMI Growers Association

Coalition on Human Needs

Color of Change

Colorado Community Action Association

Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)

Colorado State Library

Common Cause

Common Cause Delaware

Common Cause Georgia

Common Cause MN

Common Cause New Mexico

Common Sense Media

Communications Workers of America

Community Tech Network


Computer Reach

Computers 2 Kids

Congress Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Connect Your Community Institute

Consumer Reports

Cuyahoga County

Demand Progress

Denver Public Library

Detroit Change Initiative



Diversity Cyber Council

Duluth Public Access Community Television

EAH Housing

East Baton Rouge Parish Library


Electronic Frontier Foundation

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

Energy Outreach Colorado

Entrepreneur Success Program

EveryLibrary Institute NFP


Fair Count

Filipina Women’s Network

Florida Nonprofit Alliance

Florida Philanthropic Network

Frederick County Health Care Coalition

Free Press Action

Fully Equipped 4 Life Training Solutions

Futures Without Violence

Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

GrowSmart Maine

GWI, Inc


Hands to the Future

Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Offce

Hispanic Federation

Houston Information Technology Services

Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services


IBSA, Inc.

Impact Fund

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP)

Japanese American Citizens League

Jewish Family Service of Colorado

Job Opportunities Task Force


Kansas Office of Broadband Development

Kids First Chicago

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement


League of Women Voters of the United States

LGBT Technology Partnership

Libraries Without Borders US

LifeLong Medical Care

Link Oregon (Oregon Fiber Partnership)

Lit Communities Broadband, Inc.

Literacy Works

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Long Beach Gray Panthers

Louisville Metro Government

Low Income Utility Advocacy Project

Lummi Indian Business Council

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains

MACS 2030 – Minnesotans for the American Community Survey and 2030 Census

MakeIT Haverhill

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

Marconi Society

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Media Alliance



Mobile Citizen


National Action Network

National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE)

National Association for State Relay Administration

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

National Association of Counties

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of Housing Cooperatives

National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Women’s Roundtable

National Community Action Partnership

National Consumer Law Center,  on behalf of its low-income clients

National Consumers League

National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)

National Digital Equity Center

National Digital Inclusion Alliance

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

National Employment Law Project

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National League of Cities

National Organization for Women

National Skills Coalition

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New America’s Open Technology Institute

Next Century Cities

Northwest Side Housing Center


National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates

Open MIC

Oregon State University Extension Service

Parents as Teachers

Partners Bridging the Digital Divide

PCs for People

Pennsylvania Utility Law Project

PFLAG National

PSTV – School District of Philadelphia

Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)

Public Knowledge


Pullman Public Schools

Right Here, Right Now Project

ROC United

Safer Foundation

Saving Our Sons & Sisters International- SOSSI

Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition


Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)


Sonoma County Library

South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District

Southeast Community Development Corporation

Southwest Organizing Project

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

SUNY #EmTech

Tech Goes Home

Technology Learning Collaborative

The Arc of the United States

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Children’s Agenda

The Children’s Partnership

The Community Builder’s Inc

The Education Trust

The Greenlining Institute

The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

The Public Utility Law Project of NY

The STEM Alliance

Touch Gift Foundation

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

TURN – The Utility Reform Network


United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry

United Steelworkers

Universal LLC

US Ignite

Valley Vision

Virginia Citizens Consumer Council

Virginia Society for Technology in Education

VOICES for Alabama’s Children

Volunteers of America National Services


Westchester Library System

Women Employed


YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago



[1] “ACP Enrollment and Claims Tracker,” Universal Service Administrative Company (last accessed Apr. 14, 2023),

[2] Anna Read, “How Can the United States Address Broadband Affordability,” Pew (Apr. 29, 2022),; Dr. Hernan Galperin, Annual Survey on Broadband Adoption 2021, California Emerging Technology Fund and University of Southern California (Mar. 2021),; “No Home Left Offline: Bridging the Broadband Affordability Gap,” Education SuperHighway (2022),

[3] “ACP Enrollment and Claims Tracker,” Universal Service Administrative Company (last accessed Apr. 14, 2023),

[4] “Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Lower High-Speed Internet Costs,” The White House (Mar. 15, 2023),

[5] Adie Tomer, Lara Fishbane, Angela Siefer, and Bill Callahan, “Digital Prosperity: How Broadband Can Deliver Health and Equity to All Communities,” Brookings (Feb 27, 2020),

[6] “ACP Enrollment and Claims Tracker,” Universal Service Administrative Company (last accessed Apr. 14, 2023),

[7] George W. Zuo, 2021. “Wired and Hired: Employment Effects of Subsidized Broadband Internet for Low-Income Americans,” 13 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 447 (Aug. 2021).

[8] Blair Levin, “Washington May Be About to Take a Giant Step Backward in Closing the Digital Divide,” Brookings (Mar. 13, 2023),

[9] Kelsey Clark, et al., “Closing the Digital Divide Benefits Everyone, Not Just the Disconnected: An Analysis of How Universal Connectivity Benefits Education, Health Care, Government Services, and Employment,” Common Sense Media (2022),