New Resource: Tracking the Affordable Connectivity Program

On January 1st, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with $14.2 billion in funding designed to help American households pay for the monthly cost of their Internet subscription. In May, we published a story about the fate of the program, based on a prediction model we built that was intended to visualize how long we might expect the $14.2 billion fund to last before needing new Congressional appropriations to sustain it. Back then, the data showed that the fund would run out some time in 2024.

We’re back today not only with a new and improved model (based both on more granular geographic data and fed by an additional 16 weeks of enrollment data), but a new dashboard that pulls together a host of information from the Universal Service Administrative Company on where and how the Affordable Connectivity Program money is being spent. 

A New Resource for Broadband Advocates, Local Policy Makers, and Elected Officials

Located at ACPdashboard.com, this new resource from ILSR includes information local broadband advocates, nonprofits, state legislators, and policy makers need to know about where enrollment efforts and expended funds stand today. It includes a breakdown by state for how enrollment numbers stand (as well as an estimate for the amount spent in each state so far), the current national eligible enrollment rate, information for 30 metropolitan areas, how much is being spent on service support versus devices, how many households are using the ACP for mobile versus wireline service, and the total left in the ACP fund. Our new prediction model shows that a little more than $410 million is leaving the bank account every month. 

  • We predict that if no new households enroll, the ACP fund will be exhausted sometime in March of 2025.
  • If 40 percent of eligible households enroll, the fund will be exhausted in January 2025.
  • If 45 percent of eligible households enroll, the fund will be exhausted in October 2024.
  • If 50 percent of eligible households enroll, the fund will be exhausted in August 2024.
  • Assuming as many eligible households enroll as is possible, the fund will be exhausted in April 2024, when only 73 percent of households who are eligible have signed up.

Diving into the Data

There are other useful data as well. For instance, about 181,000 of 822,000 eligible Tribal households are making use of the ACP out of a total of 13.4 million households total. Additionally, 60 percent of households that are taking the benefit are using it for mobile service (a number that looks like it’s dropping slowly each month), and just 39 percent for wireline connections. About 80,000 households, or less than one percent, are using it for fixed wireless or satellite service.

Within each element of the dashboard, users can explore the data and build custom spreadsheets according to their needs. Simply hover over an element and either click or control + click  an item, then click the “View Data” popup. A separate browser window will open. Once there, in the “Show Fields” option at the top right, users can select any number of column headers to add those data to a table, and then click the “Download” option in the top right.

Visit ACPdashboard.com to explore the data and read a full description of how it works. Read more about how this dashboard was built there, or at our GitHub page.

Email us at broadband@muninetworks.org with comments, questions, and feedback.

The prediction model and data work for this project was done and is maintained by GIS and Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker. The Tableau dashboard that displays these data was created and is maintained by Associate Broadband Researcher Emma Gautier.