US Department of Housing hosts virtual summit to bridge the digital divide

Its primary focus is to raise awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides broadband service and device discounts for low-income households.

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The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is hosting a 3-day virtual summit, ConnectHomeUSA, from October 24 to 26 to promote digital inclusion for HUD-assisted families nationwide.

The summit will feature training sessions, discussions, and networking opportunities for stakeholders invested in closing the digital divide. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks is expected to deliver remarks. The focus is on raising awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which offers discounts on broadband services and connected devices for low-income households.

HUD is actively encouraging enrollment in the ACP to ensure all HUD-assisted families have equal access to opportunities. This initiative is part of a collaborative effort between HUD and the FCC to expand broadband access nationwide, spanning urban, rural, suburban, and Tribal communities.

Why does it matter?

The partnership between HUD and the FCC, as exemplified by ConnectHomeUSA, is very important. It not only underscores the critical role of the ACP in tackling the digital divide but also promotes and facilitates the enrollment process, which can be time-consuming, taking 30-45 minutes or longer due to documentation issues, with a high rejection rate of 45%. Many applicants abandon their applications before completion, especially if manual review is required. This adds further urgency to the need for streamlining and optimizing access to these essential household subsidies.