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Veterans To Lose Access To Discounted Internet Service Due To Lack of Funds

Veterans are on the verge of losing financial assistance due to a lack of funds in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

February 5, 2024

More than 1 Million veterans are on the verge of losing discounted internet service because the federal assistance program is running out of money. Nearly 23 Million households in the U.S.
receive a $30-$75 reduction in their monthly bill via the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress to provide $7 Billion in funds and extend the Internet financial aid program by the end of the year. But Congress is struggling to agree on other funding measures. Because of the lack of funds, the Affordable Connectivity Program will not be enrolling new households this week.

In May 2021, the American Legion’s National Executive Committee passed Resolution No. 1, urging federal agencies to prioritize expanding broadband in rural areas, where over 5.6 million veterans reside. High-speed internet access is crucial for these rural veterans, as they rely on it for health care, education, and other needs. Notably, more than half of these veterans have at least one service-connected health issue, and they are more prone to conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases, as indicated by VA data.

Lack of internet access also blocks veterans’ access to online education, training, and the ability to work remotely. Moreover, it adversely affects more than 1.1 Million veteran-owned businesses in Rural America by restricting their access to markets, grants, and supplies.

The need to expand high-speed internet service has been more important after the COVID-19 pandemic forced medical providers to have telehealth visits. There were nearly 3 Million telehealth visits in 2023.

However, the Affordable Connectivity Program ran out of money due to which Congress and FCC needed to come up with a permanent way of funding lower-cost internet service for the ones in need.

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Olsen Ken. “Lack of funding threatens discounted internet service for more than 1 million veterans”. Legion, February 5, 2024,
Lack of funding threatens discounted internet service for more than 1 million veterans | The American Legion

Last Updated: September 20, 2021