Terra Goodnight · July 23, 2022
Innovation Ohio Education Fund has released our report on broadband access across Ohio and what impact the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) and Affordable Connectivity Program (AFP) may have on Ohio families and communities.
The Biden Administration is aggressively working to address the digital divide and inequities caused by unequal access to broadband technologies that are becoming an increasingly essential part of modern life. With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), the administration has made a significant investment in broadband access and affordability. Thanks to billions in new federal funding, residents meeting basic income requirements can get $30 off a broadband plan with a participating provider through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and thanks to negotiations between the Biden administration and carriers, many providers are introducing new $30/month plans to the same customers, making service essentially free.
Nearly 40% of American households qualify for the ACP and it could result in more than 1.4 million Ohio households gaining access to affordable broadband, lowering their monthly bill or reducing their broadband cost to zero. According to the Census Bureau, over 1.2 million Ohio households lack a dedicated high speed internet connection to the home, the majority of which are low-income. This new program from the Biden administration could go a long way toward erasing digital access gaps and extending the many benefits of broadband access to more residents, and provides an easier path for communities to serve the needs of residents than the costly buildout of government-owned networks.
Click below to read and download the full report!
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