WISPA Urges Modest Changes to Improve Provision and Uptake of FCC's New Affordable Connectivity ProgramWashington, DC, December 8, 2021 – Today, WISPA filed Comments with the FCC on the agency’s implementation of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which succeeds the popular Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program that helps low-income and COVID-affected households afford broadband connectivity.
In its Comments (attached), WISPA emphasized that, as the Commission implements the transition to the ACP, it should: (1) reaffirm its EBB decision of February 2021 not to adopt minimum speed standards for ACP broadband services; (2) design processes to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse that do not impose undue administrative burdens on small providers; (3) allow ACP providers to claim partial month support on a pro-rated basis; and (4) allow EBB customers to transition to the ACP seamlessly, without an opt-in requirement.
“Deploying broadband to those who lack access to it is just one part of the digital divide equation,” said Louis Peraertz, VP of Policy for WISPA. “With the changes WISPA proposes here, we believe the Commission’s success with the EBB program – for the companies providing access, and those households who take support from it – will be furthered in a more private investment-friendly and inclusive ACP. More companies are going to want to participate, and more of their customers who truly struggle to afford access will take part in the new program.”
A copy of the WISPA filing can be seen here.
WISPA’s 1000 members are composed of fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) and the evolving industry that supports fixed broadband connectivity, including equipment suppliers, support services, and other components needed to run a successful business. Our members, and WISPs in general, provide broadband access to millions of residential and business customers in rural, urban and Tribal areas across America.