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Kaine Cosponsors Legislation to Extend Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program to Lower Internet Costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tim Kaine cosponsored the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, bipartisan legislation to extend a critical Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program that helped low-income families, including more than 450,000 Virginia households, afford high-speed internet. Funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)—made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Kaine helped pass—expired in April 2024. Kaine has repeatedly urged Congress to extend ACP funding.

“Access to high-speed internet is a necessity. I was proud that we took steps to make internet more affordable for millions of families as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Kaine. “But these families were cut off from this crucial support when funding for the program expired earlier this year, which is why I’m joining this effort to renew it. I’ll keep working to close the digital divide and expand broadband access in Virginia.”

The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act would provide an additional $7 billion in funding for the ACP. The ACP provided a discount of up to $30 per month discount for low-income families or up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands to use toward any internet service of their choosing.

Kaine has long championed efforts to expand broadband access and lower internet costs in Virginia. In February 2024, Kaine joined his colleagues in sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging them to expand the E-Rate program to help schools and libraries afford internet. The Fiscal Year 2024 government funding bill included over $169 million to expand broadband in rural communities. During the pandemic, Kaine secured significant funding for broadband through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the December 2020 government funding bill, which included COVID relief, and the American Rescue Plan Act.

The legislation is led by Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and cosponsored by Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01).

It is supported by over 400 organizations, including AARP, American Civil Liberties Union, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Communications Workers of America, Cox Communications, CTIA – The Wireless Association, INCOMPAS, NAACP, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, T-Mobile, USTelecom, Verizon, Wireless Infrastructure Association, and WTA – Advocates for Rural Broadband.

Full text of the legislation is available here.