Skip To Main



April 8, 2024



c: 202.913.0126

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) are urging their colleagues to pass the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act now so 10 million seniors can keep their access to high-speed affordable internet. The bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act would provide $7 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides affordable high-speed internet options to qualifying households across the U.S. 

Over 23 million Americans utilize the ACP, and 10.6 million ACP subscribers are aged 50+. An overwhelming majority of older adults —78% surveyed by AARP —say they support Congress extending the ACP. Letting the ACP run out of funding would have devastating effects on people who use this program: 77% of households who rely on the ACP say losing their ACP benefit would disrupt their service by making them change their plan or drop internet service entirely

“Older adults rely on access to the internet for everything from telehealth services to keeping in touch with loved ones, and programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program help ensure that the cost of having access to broadband does not get in the way. The bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act is a key solution towards saving this invaluable initiative before funding expires in a few weeks. We cannot turn back on the progress made in closing the digital divide, and it’s time for Congress to step up and pass this bill before seniors lose this essential digital lifeline,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.

“Older Americans have never been more dependent on an affordable high-speed internet connection in their every-day life—whether it’s to connect with their families, see a doctor or a specialist for a telehealth visit, pay bills, or access the benefits they need. The bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act will help millions of seniors from falling into digital darkness —it’s critical Congress acts now and passes this bill before the program runs out of funding and folks are disconnected,” said Sen. Welch.  

“AARP, which advocates for more than 100 million Americans age 50 and older, is pleased to endorse the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024. This legislation would ensure the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has the funding needed to help tens of millions of households continue to afford high-speed internet. Everyone should have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet service. The ACP, created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has helped more than 22 million households—including 10 million age 50 and older—get and stay online, ensuring they have access to essential services, such as telehealth visits with their doctors and virtual check-ins with caregivers, as well as the ability to stay connected with friends and loved ones…This legislation will prevent this disruption in high-speed internet service and will make certain that state broadband infrastructure deployment projects, which are already underway, can reach as many customers as possible and help close the digital divide,” said the AARP in supporting the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act. 

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and U.S. Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01). Reps. Clarke and Fitzpatrick were joined by original co-sponsors joined by original cosponsors Reps. Michael Lawler (NY-17), Norma Torres (CA-35), Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04), Debbie Dingell (MI-6), Darren Soto (FL-9), and Marc Molinaro (NY-19).

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act is supported by over 400 organizations, including: AARP, American Civil Liberties Union, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Communications Workers of America, Cox Communications, CTIA – The Wireless Association, INCOMPAS, NAACP, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, T-Mobile, USTelecom, Verizon, Wireless Infrastructure Association, and WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband. 

Read more about the bill here and see state-by-state data on the ACP here