This week: Committee chairs with the National Lifeline Association (NaLA), Danielle Perry and Kristi Brown, on the need for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and why they're not giving up on getting funding from Congress.

Nicole Ferraro, Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast

April 1, 2024

At a Glance

  • Examples of how the ACP is helping broadband consumers (04:12)
  • Why Perry and Brown are still bullish on getting supplemental ACP funding from Congress (10:24)
  • How the ACP could work as a Universal Service Fund (USF) program (22:55)

This episode features Danielle Perry and Kristi Brown, who are the respective chairs of the National Lifeline Association's regulatory & government affairs committee, and its agent committee.

The National Lifeline Association – or NaLA – is a nonprofit industry group created to preserve and promote the FCC's Lifeline benefit. Outside of their NaLA roles, Perry is also the chief compliance officer at mobile virtual network operator TruConnect; and Brown is the managing director for Community Outreach Partners, which works with service providers on customer acquisitions.

NaLA has also been advocating for the preservation of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and recently hosted a Save ACP campaign to push people to contact their member of Congress in support of more funding.

With those calls going as-yet unanswered by Congress, however, and with the program set to be fully exhausted in the next month, we discuss the remaining avenues to save the ACP before people lose access to the monthly broadband subsidy program. We also discuss ways to preserve the program long-term through the Universal Service Fund (USF), and more.

Here are a few topics covered in this conversation:

  • The importance of the ACP in general and how it's helping consumers (04:12)

  • Why they're still bullish on getting ACP funding from Congress despite its exclusion from the recent spending package (10:24)

  • Whether and how the FCC can take steps to preserve the ACP (15:55)

  • How ACP wind-down comms are causing "tremendous" confusion for consumers (19:23)

  • The future of the ACP as a likely Universal Service Fund (USF) program, and necessary contribution reforms (22:55)

Related:ACP, excluded from House spending package, creeps closer to death

For a lightly edited transcript, click the caption button on the podcast player.

Read more about:

The DivideACP

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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