Brown pushes to protect Ohioans from increase in cost of high-speed internet

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, this week joined legislation to protect Ohioans from an increase in high-speed internet costs by extending the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides financial assistance to access high-speed internet for more than one million Ohio households — in rural, suburban and urban communities across the state.

Brown’s bipartisan, bicameral Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act would fully fund the program that was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Brown helped to write and pass. The program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which projects the program will be fully exhausted by the end of April 2024.

This program is so popular that its funds are set to run out this month, well ahead of the anticipated date included in the law. If the program is not extended, Ohioans could see their internet bills increase by $30 per month.

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“Every Ohio family and Ohio business deserves affordable high-speed internet,” said Brown. “The Affordable Connectivity Program lowers the cost of high-speed internet for one in four Ohio households – from Steubenville to Sandusky. This is just common sense — and we need to act immediately to extend it.”

Brown has long been an advocate for high-speed internet infrastructure. In August, he announced a $162.5 million federal investment for high-speed internet infrastructure and community projects in Ohio under the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund.

In June, he announced a massive investment to expand high-speed internet access to bring high-speed internet to 183,000 Ohio households. In October, anticipating the depletion of Affordable Connectivity Program funding, Brown joined 31 of his colleagues urging Congressional leadership to immediately provide additional funding for the program.