ATLANTA, GA – The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) today launched a statewide initiative aimed at raising awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a program designed to assist lower-income families in paying for high-speed internet.
The ACP provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $30 per month and a one-time $100 discount toward a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. While 1.6 million Georgia households are eligible for the ACP, only 34 percent of those eligible have enrolled so far.
In partnership with EducationSuperHighway, a national non-profit working to close the broadband affordability gap, GTA is building a coalition of local stakeholders and trusted institutions to overcome complex awareness, trust, and enrollment barriers that prevent households in the nation’s most in-need communities from enrolling.
Without high-speed internet access at home, Georgia students cannot complete schoolwork outside the classroom, and households cannot work remotely or access healthcare, job training, the social safety net, or critical government services.
“Broadband is one of the most transformative technologies of our generation, but many people are left behind because they don’t have reliable, affordable access to the internet,” said Jessica Simmons, Deputy State Chief Information Officer for Broadband and Special Projects. “The Affordable Connectivity Program covers most, and in many case all, of the cost of high-speed internet for millions of eligible American families. This initiative provides a great opportunity for us to work together to expand outreach and get more Georgians connected.”
The new initiative will utilize state outreach channels to directly raise awareness about the ACP among households, while also fostering collaboration among local governments, community-based organizations, and trusted institutions. The goal is to effectively reach unconnected Georgians and ensure they have access to the benefits of the ACP.
To support these critical organizations, GTA’s broadband team will host a virtual ACP Enrollment Certification Drive from June 5 through 8, calling on 200 Georgians to answer the call and become enrollment specialists. The drive aims to equip individuals who are committed to making a difference with the necessary knowledge and resources to assist others in enrolling for the ACP and subscribing to high-speed home internet plans. Participants will have the opportunity to complete a free virtual training, empowering them to become certified ACP enrollment specialists. With their certification in hand, they will be well-prepared to make a positive and lasting impact in their communities.
Additionally, EducationSuperHighway will support statewide awareness efforts by providing outreach materials and tools to help households enroll. The non-profit recently launched getacp.org/georgia, a virtual mobile assistant that simplifies the ACP enrollment process by providing real-time support to help eligible households determine the easiest way to qualify. The mobile website is available in four languages and helps applicants overcome critical barriers in the enrollment process by helping them identify the documents needed when applying and find “free with ACP” broadband plans available at their address.
“Closing the digital divide starts with ensuring every eligible American household knows about the Affordable Connectivity Program, can easily enroll, and then sign up for high-speed internet service,” said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway. “We applaud the Georgia Technology Authority’s leadership for raising awareness of this critical program in the state’s most unconnected communities.”
Over 100 coalition partners are joining the initiative, including local governments, community organizations, businesses, and service providers who are committed to bridging the digital divide in Georgia. GTA is proud to have such strong support for this important initiative and is confident that the partnership will make a significant impact in connecting more families to the internet.
List of Partners
- Alma Telephone Co., Inc.
- Alma Telephone Company
- ATC Broadband
- BorderHawk, LLC
- Catholic Charities Atlanta
- Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation
- CFO for Women
- City Council
- City Government
- City of Albany
- City of Atlanta
- City of Griffin
- City of Lakeland
- City of Thomasville
- City of Woodstock
- Clayton County Board of Commissioners
- Clayton County’s Office of Digital Equity
- Cobb County Government IS Department
- Cobb County Public Library
- Cobb County Senior Services
- Common Cause Georgia
- Community Impact (211)
- Coweta Family Connection
- Department of Corrections
- Diversity Cyber Council
- Dodge Connection (CIS of Dodge County, Inc.)
- Dodge County
- Echols County Schools
- Empower Southwest Georgia
- Everlasting Vessels, Inc.
- External and Legislative Affairs
- Fort Valley State University
- Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE)
- Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL)
- Gwinnet County Public Libraries (Suwanee Branch)
- Harold S. Swindle Public Library
- Hawkinsville/Pulaski County Family Connection
- Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission
- Houston County Family Connection
- HTC, Inc.
- Jones County Board of Education
- Jones County Family Connection
- Kl-ear Development Group
- LiveOak Fiber
- Lowndes County Schools
- Macon Housing Authority
- Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority
- Middle Georgia Regional Commission
- Muscogee County Democratic Committee
- MUST Ministries Workforce Development
- Northwest Georgia Housing Authority
- Partnership for Inclusive Innovation
- PCs for People
- Pembroke Telephone Company, Inc.
- Polk Family Connection
- Polk School District
- Relyant Communications
- River Valley Regional Commission
- Rome Floyd Chamber
- Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
- SHI International Corp.
- Southeastern Technical College
- Southern Georgia Regional Commission
- Sumter County Board of Commissioners
- TDS Telecom
- Tech is the New Trap
- The McMeadoy Group, Ltd.
- The Pierce Group
- Thomas County
- Three Rivers Regional Commission
- United Way of Southwest Georgia
- Walker County Government
- We Thrive on Riverside
- Renters Association
- Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
- Zoom Telecom