USED & White House
FCC Affordable Connectivity Program
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Dear colleagues, 


I want to take a minute to share information about the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Below is a little information about this program, which provides support for households on their internet costs. This blog post, which you can also see below, provides information about the ACP and resources you and your districts and schools can use to support households signing up for the ACP. We encourage you to share this with your districts and stakeholders so that families are aware of this resource and opportunity. 





One of the most critical challenges illuminated by the recent period of emergency remote learning has been providing access to reliable, high-speed internet and connected devices to facilitate everywhere, all-the-time learning. Data clearly show the lack of these essential technologies impact communities of color and low-income communities to a disproportionate extent. As schools recover from the pandemic, several federal agencies and the Office of Educational Technology (OET) are stepping up to provide resources to close the digital divide.


For Learners and Families:

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) allows qualifying households to reduce their internet costs by up to $30/month ($75/month on Tribal lands). is a simple, easy-to-use website with details on how households can sign up for ACP and find participating providers in their area. Several companies additionally committed to offer ACP-eligible families at least one high-speed plan for $30/month or less, with no additional fees and no data caps. This mean that if households apply their ACP benefit to one of these plans, they would have no out-of-pocket cost for internet.


For Schools and Districts:

To help schools and districts as they assist with ACP sign-ups, OET collaborated with the FCC and USDA to update the OET website with FAQs and resources to facilitate communication with families about their ACP eligibility. This includes a template letter to let families know their child receives free or reduced-price school meals and therefore meets the ACP’s eligibility criteria. OET also provides a sample form that can be used to obtain families’ consent to share their child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals with ACP-participating providers.

About the Author

Patrick Rooney is the Director of two offices--Evidence-Based Practices Assessment and Accountability and School Support and Accountability within ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before this recent appointment, Mr. Rooney was the Deputy Director of the Office of State Support.  Prior to joining the Office of State Support, Mr. Rooney worked in the Implementation and Support Unit, where he helped lead the work of the Reform Support Network, providing technical assistance to states implementing comprehensive Race to the Top reforms, and the Race to the Top Assessment program, which provided grants to groups of states to develop new assessments aligned to state’s college- and career-ready standards. Mr. Rooney also worked in the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education, where he was a senior policy advisor and worked on a wide variety of K-12 issues in the District of Columbia.