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AARP Sees the FFC’s ACP Renewal as Essential

AARP Sees the FFC’s ACP Renewal as Essential

Advocating for more than 100 million Americans over the age of 50 and their families, AARP strongly believes that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) needs to be renewed to ensure people continue to have access to the vital online resources they need.

On this week’s episode of Fiber for Breakfast, Coralette Marshall Hannon, Esq., Director of Livable Communities, Government Affairs at AARP said, “One of the priority areas for AARP in the work that we do across not only our advocacy but also within our programmatic offerings, is working on high-speed internet service. High-speed internet is no longer a luxury; it’s actually an essential service.”

High-speed internet provides older adults with access to their friends, community, health care providers, and telehealth services. It also enables them to shop for groceries and other items, work from home, stream entertainment options, engage in lifelong learning activities, access government services, and much more.

Affordability is one of the three keys for individuals and households to access the internet. “If you have access to service, you also have to be able to afford it,” said Hannon. “There are 23 million households right now that are enrolled in the FCC’s ACP program. The data that AARP likes to highlight is that 10 million of those households are headed by someone who is 50 years of age or older. That shows us how important the FCC’s ACP program is for older adults who qualify for the program.”

AARP’s own survey shows that three-quarters of the 50-plus population they represent support the FCC’s ACP funding while FCC survey data found that three-quarters of those who would lose the FCC’s ACP support would either have to change the internet service plan they’re currently on or drop their internet service entirely.

“We do not want to roll the clock back to where we have more folks who do not have access to the high-speed internet service that they need,” Hannon said. “If 23 million people are all of a sudden disconnected from the FCC’s ACP program, trying to get them back on to whatever the newest programs is going to take a lot of money and a lot of leg work. We believe it would be better on everyone all around if the funding would not lapse, and the program would be able to continue until a long-term solution is identified.”

To learn more about AARP’s suggestions for continuing the FCC’s ACP funding and the impact of the program, listen to the latest Fiber for Breakfast podcast.

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