Helping Customers Adjust to the End of ACP

Rhonda Johnson, EVP, Federal Regulatory Relations
April 25, 2024
Broadband Access and Affordability

Helping Customers Adjust to the End of ACP

If you’re reading this, you know we’ve been calling on Congress for the better part of a year to replenish funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). We believe it’s good policy, and we will continue advocating for it.

While we’ve seen significant bipartisan support for continuing this important program — which helps more than 23 million American families offset the cost of broadband service — the time for Congress to act is now as these families face imminent disruption to their bills and service. But even if the government fails to extend the ACP, we’ll keep doing our part to help make sure low-income families can afford internet services.

We’ll continue to offer Access from AT&T, which provides eligible customers with speeds up to 100 Mbps for $30/month. For our wireless customers, in addition to our various postpaid offers, Cricket Wireless and AT&T Prepaid have several low-cost plans. And no matter which services our ACP subscribers use, we have temporary offers available to help them adjust to their bill without the monthly ACP benefit.

We know that connecting changes everything, and that Americans are relying on ACP for access to critical healthcare, to seek employment, to do their jobs, and to complete schoolwork necessary to secure opportunity for their futures.

A December 2023 FCC survey of ACP recipients found of respondents:

  • 77% say losing their ACP benefit would disrupt their service by making them change their plan or drop internet service entirely
  • 47% reported having either no internet service or relying solely on mobile internet service prior to ACP
  • 68% reported they had inconsistent internet service or no internet service at all prior to ACP

These are not just statistics; they are American lives that will be deeply impacted by the loss of the ACP benefit.

We have committed an additional $3 billion by 2030 to help close the digital divide, bringing our total commitment to $5 billion since 2021. This cumulative commitment includes an ambitious goal to help 25 million people get and stay connected to affordable, high-speed internet access throughout this decade.

Goals like ours and products like Access from AT&T have a huge impact on affordability, but they are even more powerful when they are coupled with a program like the ACP, which is why Congress must continue to work on options to keep the ACP viable.

As Congress focuses on short-term funding solutions, they also should begin planning for the long-term: That is why we urge Congress to continue working on a permanent, fair, and reliable ACP funding solution through a modernized Universal Service Fund.

A sustainable solution is particularly important as providers continue building infrastructure to expand connectivity across the country — a goal we all share.

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