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26 Governors, Agency Officials Urge Additional ACP Funding

Twenty-six governors are urging federal lawmakers to ensure additional funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program. "Preserving the ACP will allow us to build upon the progress we’ve made in expanding connectivity rather than falling behind in a mission we cannot…

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afford to lose," the bipartisan group said in a letter Tuesday to House and Senate Majority and Minority leaders. Agency officials also called on Congress to provide additional funding during a Connect20 Summit Tuesday hosted by Network:On, National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Broadband Breakfast. "If you're going to have a goal of affordable, reliable high-speed internet for every American, you have to make a serious commitment to the affordable piece," said Capital Projects Fund Director Joseph Wender, "and that serious commitment is the ACP." Wender cautioned that "we are approaching a cliff where it will run out of money at some point early next year" and there could be "cascading effects" should the program be forced to sunset. ACP "has been a really critical way for all of our agencies to make sure that once we help support the infrastructure costs, that it's affordable for consumers," said Rural Utilities Service Assistant Administrator-Telecom Program Laurel Leverrier. The program has especially benefited rural areas where "the economics aren't there for a lot of rural providers," Leverrier said, and it's "a really critical piece for our rural communities." NTIA is "fully invested" in ensuring that ACP "remains an active program," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary-Deputy Administrator Sarah Morris, "both to connect these households and also for the ongoing success of our BEAD program."