On August 8, 2022, FCC released two items establishing separate funding programs aimed at increasing outreach of federal and local government and non-government entities regarding the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”). Providers are not eligible to participate in either outreach program. Both items were adopted at the August Open Meeting:
- The Second Report and Order establishing the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program (“Outreach Grant Program”), which will provide grant funds to qualifying entities to develop qualifying in-person events, literature campaigns, digital campaigns, and paid media campaigns designed to increase awareness of the ACP. Participants in the Program may include state, local, and Tribal governments, public housing authorities, educational organizations, workforce development organizations, non-profit organizations, and community anchor institutions among others. Broadband providers, their subsidiaries, affiliates, representatives, contractors, and agents will not be eligible to participate in or receive awards from the program, either as grantees, pass-through entities, or subrecipients. Broadband industry trade associations are similarly prohibited from participating.
- The Third Report and Order establishing a one-year pilot program entitled “Your Home, Your Internet.” The program will provide funding to eligible partners to: 1) increase awareness of the ACP among recipients of federal housing assistance and 2) facilitate enrollment in the ACP by providing targeted assistance with the ACP application. Federal agencies, state, local, and tribal housing agencies, and non-profit and community-based organizations working with federal housing assistant recipients are all eligible to participate in the program. Eligible entities can receive funding to develop informational materials, particularly electronic and downloadable content, and provide application assistance, though the FCC emphasizes this is not an exhaustive list of permissible activities.
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