Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky CEO hopes Congress extends Affordable Connectivity Program

Republished from WEKU.

According to the White House, more than 450-thousand Kentucky households will lose a $30 monthly subsidy for Internet service next month – unless Congress votes to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program. Kristin Walker Collins, the CEO for the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, said the program’s still needed.

“We have hard-to-travel places, and transportation is an issue. And so broadband is a way for our communities to stay connected to each other through distance and to help our students with distance learning, as we found during the pandemic.”

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a pandemic-era program that was folded into President Biden’s 2021 Infrastructure Act and extended through April of 2024. Collins said she’s concerned ending the ACP could discourage Internet providers from expanding service.

“I think the government should take a hard look at continuing funding that program to help encourage people to stay connected. It also is an economic development driver for people that have worked from home jobs.”

In January, a bipartisan plan to extend the ACP was introduced in the Senate. That’s where it remains. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is a financial contributor to WEKU.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.