ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative unveils new Affordable Connectivity Program Dashboard

Big new tool from the Institute for Local Self Reliance…

Today the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) unveiled its Affordable Connectivity Program Dashboard.

A product of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, the interactive dashboard tells a visual story of how many Americans are enrolled in the program, offers predictive models on when the funds will be depleted, and shows how much is being spent at the national, state, and zip-code level.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was established with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to help low-income households get in-home high-speed Internet service. The program offers a $30 monthly subsidy for income-eligible households to pay for a broadband subscription. The subsidy is $75/month for Tribal citizens and offers a one-time $100 subsidy for all program participants to buy an Internet-connected digital device.

The ACP Dashboard contains numerous features, including the month and year the fund will be depleted. At the current enrollment rate, the fund will run out in March 2025. The dashboard also includes a list of the 10 major cities with the highest ACP enrollment numbers:

  • Cleveland, OH
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Detroit, MI
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Columbus, OH
  • San Diego, CA
  • New York City
  • San Antonio, TX/Washington D.C.

“Although the ACP is a short-term solution to a long-term challenge, it is a vital program for Americans unable to afford basic home Internet service where it’s available now,” noted Community Broadband Networks Initiative Senior Researcher Ry Marcattilio. “However, only a relatively small percentage of eligible households have enrolled in the program.”

“As efforts to ramp-up enrollment are ongoing, it’s important for those concerned about digital equity to bear in mind that the ACP relies on Congressional appropriation. And when the fund is exhausted, low-income households will see their bills go up significantly without further appropriation,” said Christine Parker, Community Broadband Networks Initiative GIS/Data Visualization Specialist.

The ACP Dashboard, which relies on data from the Universal Service Administrative Company, was designed to make ACP enrollment data more accessible to the public, interested policy makers, and frontline digital equity advocates. It can be especially useful as a tool to quickly identify where there are inequities across different parts of the country and begin exploring what may be driving these disparate outcomes. 

“Some parts of the country are seeing higher enrollment rates than others, suggesting there are things to be learned about the obstacles in signing up participants,” Marcattilio said.

The dashboard is iterative and updated with the latest enrollment numbers every two weeks. ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative has created a standalone website for the dashboard, which can be found here.

About the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has a vision of thriving, equitable communities. We are a national research and advocacy organization that partners with allies across the country to build an American economy driven by local priorities and accountable to people and the planet. ILSR.org 

Here’s where Minnesota stands (today) with:

  • 27.7 % of eligible households enrolled
  • 139,161 total household enrolled
  • $4,279,200.75 Total spending in MN

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