Closing the Digital Divide

The Affordable Connectivity Program on the Ground and in DC

This event is presented in partnership with New America’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and Network: On.

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Join New America’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, and Network: On on Wednesday, June 14, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm ET for the double-panel hybrid event, Closing the Digital Divide: The Affordable Connectivity Program on the Ground and in DC. We are thrilled to share that National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Administrator Alan Davidson will deliver keynote remarks and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will deliver recorded remarks at the event.

The Affordable Connectivity Program presents a historic opportunity to address the digital divide in America. 20% of Americans are without robust home broadband, many of whom are low income. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has helped connect these unconnected people, making it easier for them to access digital technologies and the economic benefits that flow from connectivity. While 52 million households are eligible for ACP nationwide, only about one-third of them are enrolled, and funding is expected to run out in mid-2024. At the same time, the ACP provides the kind of incentive needed to keep internet service providers (ISPs) engaged in the roll-out of broader Broadband investments in hard to reach communities. The ACP could have a lasting impact on people's ability to access digital technology and the benefits that connectivity produces. The steady progress the U.S. has made in addressing this fundamental challenge of the digital divide, is in danger of backsliding without stakeholder collaboration to find a long-term funding solution.

Following Administrator Davidson’s remarks, the event will feature two panels: the first spotlights on-the-ground ACP practitioners from states and cities across the U.S. who will highlight the program’s successes and lessons learned. The second panel will offer a national perspective on large-scale bipartisan initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide and advancing digital equity. 

For in-person attendance, doors open at 8:30 am ET at New America’s downtown DC offices (740 15th Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005). The event will also be recorded and streamed online for virtual attendees. Please RSVP ahead of time.

Join the conversation online by using #AccessOTI and following @OTI.

Keynote Remarks: NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

Panel 1: ACP Practitioners

Panel 2: The Future of the ACP