Rural Area Broadband Internet
Greetings, Brothers, and Sisters in Christ,
Some 10 million rural African Americans lack broadband internet, primarily in the South. They cannot use such essential services as online doctor visits, church services, school assignments, family connections, and voter registration. Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), providing nearly 18 million low-income households nationwide with resources to pay for necessary broadband service. The ACP offers eligible families a $30 monthly discount on high-speed internet services, making access free for many participants.
Here’s what you can do:
1 – Forward to pastors in your network serving rural communities the “Get Connect” Information card below with a contact number and website for guidance through signing up for the ACP program.
To Apply Call 1 (877) 384-2575 or Visit www.GetInternet.gov/apply
2 – Encourage them to visit: https://www.skinnerleaders.org/getconnected to download the “Get Connected Toolkit.”
Unfortunately, the future of this critically important program is hanging in the balance. Based on current rates, the funding appropriated for the ACP program ($14.2B) could be exhausted in early 2024. Congress must act now to replenish ACP funding for a few years until longer-term subsidy reforms are in place. If the ACP program expires, millions of households, and hundreds of thousands across the south, will lose financial support for their broadband needs.
After the August recess, we will ask you to sign a letter to Congress asking them to support the extension of the ACP, a critical tool for bridging the digital divide for communities of color and rural communities that have been left behind in the digital revolution. We deserve the same services that most other Americans have.
Thank you for taking a look at this urgent matter. I look forward to hearing from you and your thoughts on this critical issue, and please do enjoy the balance of your summer.
Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner
Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr.
Co-Conveners, National African American Clergy Network