The FCC has created four complementary grant programs to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) across the country.
The regulator is seeking to “enlist trusted community messengers” who would “develop innovative outreach strategies designed to target historically unserved and underserved communities.” Any selected partners would be provided with the funding needed to increase participation among eligible, low-income households needing internet connections.
ACP is a $14.2 billion FCC benefit program designed to help ensure that qualifying low-income households can afford broadband. It pays up to $30 a month for low-income households toward the cost of broadband service. To date the program has served more than 14 million households.
The four grant programs included in the ACP Outreach Grant Program include the National Competitive Outreach Program; the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program; the Your Home, Your Internet Program; and the ACP Navigator Pilot Program.
The FCC said it is issuing a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) today for a total of up to $60 million for the National Competitive Outreach Program and $10 million for the Tribal Competitive Outreach Program. The deadline for applications is January 9, 2023.
A separate NOFO for the Your Home, Your Internet and ACP Navigator Pilot grant programs will be issued November 21, the commission said. Additional information about those programs is available in this previous Telecompetitor post.
“The success of the Affordable Connectivity Program thus far has taught us some important lessons, and none more valuable than the importance of trusted messengers,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a prepared statement about the FCC ACP grants.
“Today, we’re building on that progress by offering local organizations additional support from the FCC. Our outreach partners have already demonstrated creativity, perseverance, and a continued commitment to ensuring everyone, everywhere has the internet connections they need, and these outreach grants aim to supercharge those successful efforts.”