Colorado Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera launched a campaign Wednesday to get more residents to sign up for subsidized internet plans and acquire devices available through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program.
The campaign, called the Colorado Affordable Connectivity Program Act Now Initiative, will convene “a broad coalition of 71 partner cities, community based organizations and trusted institutions across Colorado with the goal of increasing awareness,” Primavera said during a press briefing at a Denver public library.
She said too few eligible households are aware of the internet discounts available.
“As of today, nearly 800,000 Colorado families are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, but only 180,000, or 23%, have signed up and that’s not good,” Primavera said.
To meet Gov. Jared Polis’ goal of connecting 99% of Coloradans to high-speed internet by 2027, more awareness of affordable internet plans needs to be spread through “strategic communication practices and media placement,” Primavera said.
Through the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is funded by the Federal Communications Commission, eligible households in Colorado can secure discounts of up to $30 per month or $75 per month on qualifying tribal lands, in addition to a one-time discount of $100 off the purchase of a laptop, computer or tablet, Primavera said.
“We know the broadband affordability gap disproportionately impacts low income families and individuals with less than high school education and communities of color,” she said. “To close that gap, we need to ensure unconnected households know about the ACP and have the help they need to enroll.”