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FCC establishes Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program

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    FCC establishes Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program

    On August 5, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Grant Program (Outreach Grant Program), which will provide funds for eligible entities to conduct outreach in support of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Outreach Grant Program, which will be eligible for counties as well as other government and non-government entities, includes a total of $100 million to be allocated over five years. The Outreach Grant Program is intended to assist outreach efforts ranging from in-person events and literature campaigns to digital campaigns and paid media campaigns for promoting ACP enrollment. The FCC also established the "Your Home, Your Internet" pilot program, which will utilize $5 million of the Outreach Grant Program's funds to provide grant opportunities for increasing awareness of and encourage participation in the ACP for households receiving federal housing assistance. A formal Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Outreach Grant Program is forthcoming.

    As of August 2022, approximately 13.1 million households are participating in the ACP, which provides eligible households with up to $30 off their monthly internet service bill or $75 if the household is on Tribal Lands, as well as a one-time $100 discount on purchasing a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers. Despite growing enrollment numbers however, it is estimated that upwards of 48 million households nationwide qualify for the program. The Outreach Grant Program is therefore intended to help boost enrollment nationwide by partnering with government and non-government outreach partners to spread awareness and help facilitate adoption of the program to diverse communities.

    The goal of the Outreach Grant Program is to facilitate the promotion of the ACP to increase awareness of and participation in the ACP among eligible households. The FCC has identified three objectives for the Outreach Grant Program to achieve this goal, which are the following:

    • To expand and support diverse and impactful outreach efforts nationwide to reach eligible ACP households, including but not limited to people of color, persons with disabilities, persons who live in rural or Tribal areas, and others who are or have been historically underserved, marginalized, or adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality
    • To strengthen outreach partners nationwide by empowering them to mobilize people and organizations to help raise awareness about the ACP
    • To increase enrollment in the ACP, particularly in areas served by the outreach grants, by underrepresented, underserved, and low-income households

    The "Your Home, Your Internet" pilot program will be administered by the FCC and seeks to couple targeted outreach to households receiving federal housing assistance with hands-on application assistance. The FCC will select up to 20 pilot participants, which may include government and third-party organizations serving federal housing assistance recipients, from across the country. The FCC will also enhance the ACP application process so that Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) participants are more clearly aware of whether their program makes them eligible for the ACP benefit, and the agency will also seek to finalize a revised data-sharing agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make FPHA participants categorically eligible for the ACP through the National Verifier.

    The ACP was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which provided $14.2 billion to the FCC to provide affordable internet access for all Americans. Under the ACP, qualifying households can receive a discount of up to $30 off their monthly internet service bill, or $75 if the household is on Tribal Lands, as well as a one-time $100 discount on purchasing a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers. Qualifying households that are interested in participating in the ACP must submit an application to confirm eligibility, and then contact their preferred internet service provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to their bill.

    NACo will provide an update on the Outreach Grant Program when a NOFO is released later this year.

    On August 5, the Federal Communications Commission established the Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Grant Program, which will provide funds for eligible entities to conduct outreach in support of the Affordable Connectivity Program.
    2022-08-10
    Blog
    2022-08-16
New outreach grant program would allow counties to use funds to spread awareness of the ACP FCC outreach grant program targets federal housing assistance participants through "Your Home, Your Internet" pilot program

On August 5, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Grant Program (Outreach Grant Program), which will provide funds for eligible entities to conduct outreach in support of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Outreach Grant Program, which will be eligible for counties as well as other government and non-government entities, includes a total of $100 million to be allocated over five years. The Outreach Grant Program is intended to assist outreach efforts ranging from in-person events and literature campaigns to digital campaigns and paid media campaigns for promoting ACP enrollment. The FCC also established the "Your Home, Your Internet" pilot program, which will utilize $5 million of the Outreach Grant Program's funds to provide grant opportunities for increasing awareness of and encourage participation in the ACP for households receiving federal housing assistance. A formal Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Outreach Grant Program is forthcoming.

As of August 2022, approximately 13.1 million households are participating in the ACP, which provides eligible households with up to $30 off their monthly internet service bill or $75 if the household is on Tribal Lands, as well as a one-time $100 discount on purchasing a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers. Despite growing enrollment numbers however, it is estimated that upwards of 48 million households nationwide qualify for the program. The Outreach Grant Program is therefore intended to help boost enrollment nationwide by partnering with government and non-government outreach partners to spread awareness and help facilitate adoption of the program to diverse communities.

The goal of the Outreach Grant Program is to facilitate the promotion of the ACP to increase awareness of and participation in the ACP among eligible households. The FCC has identified three objectives for the Outreach Grant Program to achieve this goal, which are the following:

  • To expand and support diverse and impactful outreach efforts nationwide to reach eligible ACP households, including but not limited to people of color, persons with disabilities, persons who live in rural or Tribal areas, and others who are or have been historically underserved, marginalized, or adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality
  • To strengthen outreach partners nationwide by empowering them to mobilize people and organizations to help raise awareness about the ACP
  • To increase enrollment in the ACP, particularly in areas served by the outreach grants, by underrepresented, underserved, and low-income households

The "Your Home, Your Internet" pilot program will be administered by the FCC and seeks to couple targeted outreach to households receiving federal housing assistance with hands-on application assistance. The FCC will select up to 20 pilot participants, which may include government and third-party organizations serving federal housing assistance recipients, from across the country. The FCC will also enhance the ACP application process so that Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) participants are more clearly aware of whether their program makes them eligible for the ACP benefit, and the agency will also seek to finalize a revised data-sharing agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make FPHA participants categorically eligible for the ACP through the National Verifier.

The ACP was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which provided $14.2 billion to the FCC to provide affordable internet access for all Americans. Under the ACP, qualifying households can receive a discount of up to $30 off their monthly internet service bill, or $75 if the household is on Tribal Lands, as well as a one-time $100 discount on purchasing a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers. Qualifying households that are interested in participating in the ACP must submit an application to confirm eligibility, and then contact their preferred internet service provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to their bill.

NACo will provide an update on the Outreach Grant Program when a NOFO is released later this year.

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