— Today, Governor Wes Moore and Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel joined Marylanders during a free “train the trainer” Affordable Connectivity Program training session at Salisbury University. The latest ‘More Opportunity Tour’ stop highlighted the mission to ensure that all households can afford broadband services and to support the governor’s goal of getting every Marylander online by the end of his first term in office.
“Today, we celebrate the partnership that is needed to bridge the digital divide,” said Gov. Moore.
“Broadband infrastructure means nothing if you can’t afford to connect to the internet. The Affordable Connectivity Program provides discounts that help tear down the cost barrier standing between Marylanders and internet access. Connectivity is no longer optional, and with programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program, we will create internet access for all.”
The Federal Communications Commission Affordable Connectivity Program
provides monthly $30 discounts for household broadband internet access and device purchase for eligible individuals. The program is critical to helping qualifying consumers not only afford broadband, but also access the benefits that broadband brings, including enhanced access to health care, distance learning, access to job training and application opportunities, and connection to governmental and community-based information and services.
“The FCC recently marked a major milestone—20 million households enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program—a feat only attainable through partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Federal Communications Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
“That’s why I am grateful for Governor Moore and Maryland local community partners for contributing to our mission of ensuring everybody, everywhere gets online and stays online.”
“As the only state in the country to offer an additional monthly ACP discount, the State of Maryland is making an unprecedented investment in our communities, our economy, and most importantly, our people,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day. “With the help of our Office of Statewide Broadband’s Digital Equity and Inclusion team, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to high-speed, affordable internet for all Marylanders, regardless of ZIP code. Thank you to the FCC and the Moore-Miller administration for continually championing digital equity efforts in all corners of our state.”“In an increasingly interconnected world, broadband access opens the door to a wealth of knowledge and opportunities, especially within the educational landscape,” said Salisbury University President Dr. Carolyn R. Lepre. “The Affordable Connectivity Program helps to bridge the digital divide by ensuring that every student, especially our Pell Grant students who are eligible for the program, the chance to thrive academically and fulfill their potential.”Maryland has also received more than $267 million in funding as part of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program. Established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, funding may be used to construct broadband networks, offset the cost of internet services for low-income households, and create programs to provide end users with devices and training. In Maryland, the funding will also improve access to and bolster service speeds for unserved and underserved locations. Since the Office of Statewide Broadband was created within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in 2017, it has invested more than $270 million into broadband infrastructure and programs. The efforts provide high-speed internet access to an estimated 52,000 previously unserved homes and businesses statewide.
To learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program and about available broadband access discounts, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/acp