The Affordable Connectivity Program, which expired last night, helps 23 million low-income households access high-speed internet

Washington, D.C. – Today, Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Fetterman introduced the Promoting Affordable Connectivity Act which would sustainably fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) by removing it from the appropriations process and incorporating it into Universal Service Fund (USF) distribution. The ACP has provided discounts on internet service to more than 23 million households—including over 700,000 in Pennsylvania—that could not otherwise afford it. The program, however, expired last night after Congress failed to appropriate funds for it in the appropriations process.

“Broadband internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity, but many families simply cannot afford it,” said Senator Fetterman. “The ACP has been incredibly successful in ensuring that families across Pennsylvania and the country have internet access. It’s simple: when a program works, keep it. The Promoting Affordable Connectivity Act would ensure that this critical lifeline for tens of millions of Americans remains funded without partisan politics getting in the way. I ran for the Senate to fight for forgotten communities and tangibly improve working people’s lives. This bill does just that. I’m proud to introduce it.”

ACP is a federal program that provides eligible households with discounts of up to $30 per month on their internet bills, which often covers the entirety of monthly internet fees. But due to Republican opposition to the program, ACP expired late April 30, throwing millions of Americans off the program.

The Promoting Affordable Connectivity Act sustainably funds ACP by removing it from the annual appropriations process and integrating it into the Universal Service Fund (USF) distribution. To ensure affordability, this bill restructures USF contributions to pay for ACP without raising costs on consumers. Instead, under the bill, broadband and edge service providers would finance the ACP. The bill is written to ensure costs are not passed on to consumers.

Expanding broadband access to American families continues to a top priority for Senator Fetterman and he has been sounding the alarm on the impending expiration of the ACP and pushing for more funding for the program for months. Last year, Senator Fetterman published an op-ed in PennLive pushing Congress to pass a funding extension for the federal Broadband Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Senator also penned a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel demanding the FCC make improvements to broadband access and address issues with eligible households not receiving their benefits quickly.

The full text of the bill will be available here.