Governor Roy Cooper is continuing his efforts to urge Congress to reauthorize the Affordable Connectivity Program, which reduces the cost of high-speed internet for eligible North Carolinians.
Yesterday, the Governor sent a letter in partnership with Gov. Spencer Cox (R-Utah) and co-signed by 24 other governors from across the nation, calling on Congress to continue funding this essential program. Governor Cooper also traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in a broadband event hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts focused on the role of states in achieving universal, affordable broadband access.
“High-speed internet is a necessity for economic and educational success and the Affordable Connectivity Program is helping nearly a million of North Carolinians access the internet at reduced cost. The enormous response from people across the country shows this is a vital need and Congress should take action to extend it,” said Governor Cooper.
Administered by the Federal Communications Commission, the Affordable Connectivity Program provides qualified low-income households $30 per month off the cost of an internet subscription and $100 off the cost of a device. Without bipartisan federal action, the program could run out of funds as early as April 2024, cutting off more than 21 million households currently enrolled in the program nationwide, including more than 861,000 households in North Carolina.
Governor Cooper and the N.C. General Assembly have worked across party lines to direct more than $1 billion in American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (ARPA SLFRF) to expand high-speed internet and help North Carolinians get the skills, devices and assistance needed to take advantage of it. In addition, North Carolina is receiving more than $1.5 billion through the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program that will ensure all North Carolinians have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
Governor Cooper’s administration continues to raise awareness of the program and encourage families to enroll. People can find out if they are eligible and sign up at getinternet.gov.
To learn more about Governor Cooper’s plan to close the digital divide in North Carolina, visit ncbroadband.gov.