Padilla Cosponsors Bill to Extend Funding for Affordable Connectivity Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla announced that he has cosponsored the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Extension Act, legislation that would provide the ACP with an additional $7 billion to ensure the program lasts through the 2024 calendar year. The ACP has helped over 23 million qualifying households across the United States save $30-$75 per month on their internet bill. But absent congressional action, funding for internet subsidies will run out by the end of the month.

Padilla also cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2023 currently being considered in the Senate to provide the ACP with an additional $6 billion.

With the ACP on the verge of exhausting its funds, millions of Californians are at risk of losing access to affordable internet. Nearly 3 million eligible California households are currently enrolled in the ACP.

“High-speed affordable internet is essential infrastructure, plain and simple. Whether it’s a parent logging on for the work day or a student trying to submit their homework, no family should have to worry if they can afford a stable internet connection,” said Senator Padilla. “We must fully fund this program to ensure millions of families can afford to get connected at home.”

Access to broadband provides vital connections to education, health care, and economic opportunity. According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in 2022, one in every five households lacked access to broadband at home, and a 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that 27 percent of non-broadband users cited cost as the most important reason they do not have broadband at home.

Congress has established programs to increase broadband access through the Universal Service Fund, including the Lifeline and the High-Cost programs. In 2021, Congress established the ACP and the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to further improve broadband access and affordability. Senator Padilla is a strong advocate for expanding broadband access. He joined letters in October and November last year in support of extending ACP funding. Additionally, Padilla, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Representative Robin Kelly (D-Ill.-02) introduced the Promoting Access to Broadband Act to increase access to internet and telephone services for low-income urban and rural Americans by increasing awareness and enrollment in the Federal Communications Commission’s ACP and Lifeline program. Padilla also announced over $1.8 billion in funding for broadband access in California through the BEAD program.


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