back to article FCC: April is last month for Affordable Connectivity Program payments

The end is nigh for the US Affordable Connectivity Program, with April being the final full month of the program. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the announcement on March 4, 2024, after months of protests failed to persuade lawmakers that keeping the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) running was worth …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The current house of repugnants

    aka, the GOP majority won't do anything that Emperor Trump the 1st won't agree too.

    If he gets elected in November then watch out for almost every federal program to be cut including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. That is needed to fund the monster tax cuts to the top 1%.

    It will be wonderful to watch how he governs from a cell at a Rykers.

  2. Someone Else Silver badge

    Calling a spade a spade

    The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the announcement on March 4, 2024, after months of protests failed to persuade lawmakers the MAGAts currently infesting the halls of Congress that keeping the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) running was worth the expense.

    Nobody with an IQ above room temperature could possibly mistake a Republican as a "lawmaker".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Calling a spade a spade

      Celsius or Fahrenheit?

      (I fear the answer is "Yes")

  3. Dimmer Silver badge

    Wait a second.

    “ The Biden-Harris Administration sent the US Congress a supplemental request for $6 billion to continue the program in 2023”

    Why would they need the funding? Have you looked at your phone bill lately? That is what we were told those extra taxes were for. Where did it go?

  4. biddibiddibiddibiddi

    "targeting taxpayer subsidies to consumers who already had broadband" -- OH NO! They might have been able to shift some of their spending to other things that are important but were slightly lower priority and improve their lives! Poor people should only ever be able to have X number of dollars, otherwise they might start getting uppity and educated and vote me out!

    Broadband is a necessity these days for most people to participate in the modern world, just like phone service is.

    I've been trying for two years to get on SSDI (disability support), through 2 denials that are virtually automatic and finally a hearing, and should be getting the ruling from the judge anytime from now to the next month, then would have qualified for ACP (perhaps after applying for other programs that required me to get disability first), just in time for it to go away.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not a problem here...

    Not a problem here... FYI, ACP gives low-income families a $20-30 a month discount toward Internet service. The intent was to let low income families to at least be able to get some modest speed internet at home for something in the $0-20 a month range.

    Here? Both the DSL and cable companies somehow got it arranged so ACP cannot be used on plans under $50/month (the cable co has a really bad like $30 a month plan with like a 150GB a month cap on it), and plans must be at full price (so at full price the next plans over the $30 one are like $80 or $90 a month.) So... a) People who use ACP cannot afford a $50-60 a month plan really. b) Those who buy this expensive internet anyway, usually signing up as a new customer and getting the "$X a month for Y years" discount gives a lower price than paying full price and taking off the ACP credit anyway. So, there's likely VERY few if any people here on DSL or cable on ACP.

    But! Both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have been cleaning up, selling $20-35 a month 5G Home Internet (which is just a name, these devices will use 4G service if they're outside the 5G service area...) which with ACP credit costs $0-5 a month. These have only started here within like the last year. I suppose there's probably people on these plans that'll lose out. My parents are not on ACP, but $20 a month for unlimited data and "typical speeds of 100-300mbps" (they are right on the edge of the 5G service area so when the box gets a hint of 5G it does like 100-150mbps, but usually it's on 4G getting more like 20-120mbps... but it's hard to complain for $20.)

    *I assume ISPs in Britain do this -- the cell phone companies here don't usually do this, but the DSL, cable, and dish (Dish Network and DirecTV) all tend to have a stated price for the service but frequently people are singed up on the "pay XX a month for Y years" sort of special. Both the cell cos and ISPs/TV providers tend to let customers stay on grandfathered plans, though (i.e. plan is not available to new customers, but they don't force anyone on it off it.)

    1. biddibiddibiddibiddi

      Re: Not a problem here...

      Maybe that's what Cruz was attempt to refer to about the ACP being given to people who already had broadband, if he was pointing at the subset who couldn't use the ACP for the cheap plans because of the arrangements you mentioned, so the people who couldn't pay for broadband before still couldn't pay for it, or couldn't apply the ACP to what they had, making it look like it was mostly people already paying for broadband that used the ACP. I'm sure Republicans were involved in allowing the ISPs to squeeze in those profit boosting terms, so they could get money from the ACP AND push people onto higher cost plans so they'd end up not getting as much of a reduction as expected.

      T-Mobile certainly doesn't seem to want to let people stay on grandfathered plans anymore. They were just going to move people without consent (I think they backed down from that) and I think they added a fee for anybody not using a currently-advertised plan. Somebody did anyway. I'm not sure Verizon is willingly maintaining them anymore, either.

  6. Rage against republicans

    Screw the poor

    Can't let the poor,low income families have access to the internet. They might get wise to the republicans only caring about people with high incomes and business owners! Gotta keep the poor and low earners in the dark. Way to easy for them to learn the truth about the rich republicans online. Much harder for the poor to hear the truth on TV or radio how the republicans only care about money more than poor people who can't contribute to their party.

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