The Leadership Conference’s Letter in Support of the Affordable Connectivity Program

View PDF of Letter Here

Dear Chair Murray, Chair Van Hollen, Chair Granger, and Chair Womack,

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 165 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. 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.  

Thanks to Congress’ action, the ACP now helps more than 17 million households in America afford broadband internet, with enrollment continuing to increase steadily. These households collectively save more than $500 million per month on internet expenses, while the program drives economic growth, higher incomes, and lower unemployment. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
18 Million Rising
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)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)
Asian Health Services
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
Black Women’s Roundtable
Byte Back
CanCode Communities 
Center for Changing Lives
Center for Rural Strategies 
City of Chicago
City of Cleveland
City of Philadelphia
City of San Antonio
City of San Jose
Civic Nation 
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition on Human Needs
Color of Change
Common Cause
Common Cause Delaware
Common Cause Georgia 
Common Cause MN
Common Cause New Mexico
Common Sense Media 
Communications Workers of America
Community Tech Netowrk 
Computers 2 Kids
Connect Your Community Institute
Cuyahoga County
Demand Progress
Duluth Public Access Community Television 
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Energy Outreach Colorado
EveryLibrary Institutre NFP
Fair Count
Florida Nonprofit Alliance
Florida Philanthropic Network
Frederick County Health Care Coalition
Free Press Action 
Fully Equipped 4 Life Training Solutions 
GWI, Inc
Hispanic Federation
Houston Information Technology Services
Impact Fund
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Japanese American Citizens League
JustLeadership US
Kansas Office of Broadband Development
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
League of Women Voters of the United States 
LifeLong Medical Care
Link Oregon (Oregon Fiber Partnership)
Lit Communities Broadband, Inc.
Local Inititiatives Support Corporation
Long Beach Gray Panthers
Low Income Utility Advocacy Project
Lummi Indian Business Council
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
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC)
National Action Network
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 Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients
National Consumers League
National Digital Equity Center
National Digital Inclusion Alliance 
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
National Fair Housing Alliance 
National Hispanic Media Coalition 
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 
Open MIC
Oregon State University Extension Services 
Parents as Teachers 
Partners Bridging the Digital Divide 
PCs for People 
Pennsylvania Utility Law Project 
PFLAG National
Public Knowledge
Pullman Public Schools 
Right Here, Right Now Project
ROC United 
Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition 
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Sonoma County Library 
Southeast Community Development Corporation 
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future 
SUNY #EmTech
Tech Goes Home 
Technology Learning Collaborative 
The ARC of the United States 
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce 
The Children’s Agenda 
The Children’s Partnership 
The Education Trust 
The Greelining Institute 
The Public Utility Law Project of NY 
The STEM Alliance 
Tricounty 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 
Women Employed

CC: The Honorable Susan Collins, Vice Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
The Honorable Bill Hagerty, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government 
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations
The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government