Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "ACP"Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
Our New Building for Digital Equity Podcast Debuts Today
Our new podcast series – Building for Digital Equity – debuts today with an insightful conversation with Margaret “Meg” Kaufer, President of the STEM Alliance in Westchester County, New York.
Meg shares lessons about what they have learned in delivering low-cost Internet access to people in Yonkers and beyond. She also discusses how they recently retired their wireless CBRS network and have embraced signing households up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Our regular followers may recall her appearance on episode 500 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast where she discussed their foray into CBRS. On the B4DE podcast, she not only updates us on those efforts, but also explains how they have developed a replicable strategy for signing people up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), helping eligible participants navigate the cumbersome paperwork requirements.
The B4DE podcast features short interviews with our team, talking to those doing behind-the-scenes digital inclusion work through local efforts aimed at giving everyone, everywhere, the opportunity to participate fully in the digital world.
You can listen to the podcast below or put this feed into your podcast app. And don’t forget to visit our B4DE podcast page for this and future episodes. Please leave us a rating if you like it!
Header image of podcast microphone courtesy of Maciej Korsan, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Public Domain Dedication
Not All Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollees Are Using the Benefit: A Look into 30 Major Metro Areas
Since the launch of the Affordable Connectivity Program last January, millions of households have benefitted from the $30/month connection subsidy to help pay for their broadband bills. The program serves as a necessary bridge in a failed marketplace, dominated nationally by a small number of regional monopolies driven by shareholders to charge the highest price possible.
Along the way, ILSR and a host of other research and advocacy organizations have been digging into the American Connectivity Program (ACP) data in order to better understand how the program has operated over the last year, and how we can work collectively to improve education and outreach efforts and make sure as many households as possible will benefit. From this work we created an ACP Dashboard to collect and visualize useful data to support the critical work of digital navigators, nonprofits, and local governments.
Explore the Affordable Connectivity Program here, and read more about why we created it.
Reckognizing the Gap
In addition to tracking how much of the $15.5 billion fund ($1.3 billion was carried over from the Emergency Broadband Benefit and $14.2 billion was allocated for the ACP] is left and predicting when it’ll run out (April 2026 at current rates), keeping an eye on state- and zip-code level use and enrollment, and following what types of connections households are using the benefit to pay for, an important part of this work has been tracking data across major metropolitan areas across the country.
As we continue to analyze the data and refine our tools to support work at the local level, we have found that the percentage of households in major metro areas (and likely elsewhere) that are actually using the program is smaller than the percentage of households enrolled in the program.
Building at the Speed of Light in Pharr, Texas - Episode 518 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by two representatives from Pharr, Texas (pop. 79,000), which has embarked on a citywide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network build that is seeing strong local support and fast progress in recent months. Jose Pena is the IT Director for the city, and and Guillermo Aguilar works as a Partner at Brownstone Consultants, which is serving as a project manager for the network build. Jose and Guillerma talk with Christopher about the impetus for TeamPharr, the municipal effort which formally kicked off in 2017 with a feasibility study.
Jose and Guillermo share how the city moved to a fixed wireless pilot project on the southern part of town a few years ago before extending the network to a collection of city parks and then making the commitment to a full citywide buildout in 2020. They detail their early work in the state, which places some barriers in front of communities looking to take their telecommunications future into their own hands, and the help they got from Mont Belvieu (which also runs its own network). Jose and Guillermo share the phenominally fast progress the team has made, from finishing the design phase in September of last year, to connecting the first household in January 2022, to passing 70 percent of premisestoday.They also talk about their work to offer subscribers low pricing tiers ($25 and $50/month for symmetrical 500 Mbps and gigabit service, respectively) and their efforts to help households sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Check out the videos at the bottom of this story for more about why Pharr undertook the project and the progress the city has made so far.
This show is 40 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed.
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Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.