9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Biden administration calls on Congress to renew funding for internet access • NC Newsline

Biden administration calls on Congress to renew funding for internet access • NC Newsline
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Biden administration calls on Congress to renew funding for internet access • NC Newsline  NC Newsline

Biden administration calls on Congress to renew funding for internet access • NC Newsline

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Introduction

Today, more than 900,000, or 1 in 5, households in North Carolina have access to affordable high-speed internet thanks to the Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). However, unless Congress extends funding for the program by the end of this month, many of these households could lose access to this service.

The Impact of Inadequate Funding

In April, the program will only offer partial benefits. Without additional funding from Congress, the program is expected to end completely in May, leaving 23 million Americans at risk of losing affordable internet access.

Urgent Need for Funding Extension

Last October, the president submitted a request for an additional $6 billion in funding to extend the program through the end of 2024. Senior Biden administration officials emphasized this urgency during a call on Monday afternoon. “If they don’t, millions of their own constituents will be at risk of seeing their internet costs go up or seeing their internet quality go down, and they might lose access entirely when the program runs out of money in April,” said an administration official. “It is past time for congressional Republicans to step up and prevent their constituents’ internet costs from increasing after the next month and we are urging them to do so.”

Current Program Impact

Currently, the program is helping 23 million Americans nationwide, saving them $30 to $75 each month on their internet bills. The administration official stated that nearly half of these beneficiaries are military families, while about a quarter are seniors.

Implications for North Carolina

Starting in May, households in North Carolina and around the country will see changes in their bill if funding is not extended. While full program support will no longer be available, a limited amount of funding will remain. This funding will be applied to households already enrolled in the program, provided their internet provider chooses to participate in partial reimbursement.

The program will close if the funding is not extended after May.

Affordable Connectivity Program Funds Allocation

More than $500 million in Affordable Connectivity Program funds have been allocated thus far to North Carolina, according to figures provided by the White House. In a statement to Newsline, Congressman Don Davis (NC-01) stressed the importance of affordable broadband.

“Affordable and reliable broadband connections are necessary for the long-term success of eastern North Carolina. It’s essential for kids at school, workers, and communities,” said Davis, whose district has received almost $50 million in funding. “Constituents continue to voice their support for the Affordable Connectivity Program and the need to preserve it going forward. Immediate funding is needed to ensure the continuation of this important program,” the statement continued.

Among the state’s congressional districts, District 7 received the most funding, over $50 million. Around 28% of households in the district are benefiting from the program.

Long-Term Solution and Support

If funding is extended, it will last through the remainder of 2024. On Monday’s call, the administration official said the president supports a long-term solution, pointing to a budget request made by the administration calling on Congress “to come up with a fulsome long-term solution that is sustainable for the program.”

“We are eager to have the conversation about the long-term solution as well,” said the official. “But what is in front of us, is a short-term problem that we really need to fix.”

SDGs and the Importance of Affordable Connectivity

During a visit to Raleigh in January, President Biden likened his broadband initiative to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1936 Rural Electrification Act, which brought electricity to rural areas. “Electricity became an essential part of modern life. Pretty much everyone had access to it was determined that no American should be left behind no matter where they live, whether in a big city or rural area,” Biden said, addressing a crowd of roughly 200 party loyalists, union workers and state lawmakers. “I made the same determination about affordable, high-speed internet. It isn’t a luxury anymore. It’s an absolute necessity.”

In the same event, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper highlighted the state’s effort in bridging the digital divide. “We’re helping people get the devices, the training and the help they need to afford high speed internet. And that is why we also need Congress to reauthorize the affordable connectivity program. We’re going to continue to work feverishly to get more people online,” Cooper said. “Whether you’re a rural, small business owner of veterans trying to connect with health care, a student trying to get an assignment on access to the internet is key to success in the 21st century. Now, instead of investing tens of millions of dollars, we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars, soon to be billions of dollars, in high-speed internet in North Carolina.”

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Target 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020 – Number of households in North Carolina with access to affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
– Number of Americans benefiting from the program
– Amount of money saved by beneficiaries on their internet bills
SDG 4: Quality Education Target 4.c: By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states – Percentage of military families benefiting from the program
– Percentage of seniors benefiting from the program
SDG 1: No Poverty Target 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable – Amount of funding allocated to North Carolina through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals Target 17.2: Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence – Funding extension for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through congressional action

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The issue of affordable high-speed internet access is directly connected to SDG 9, which aims to promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. The article discusses the Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides households in North Carolina with access to affordable high-speed internet.

SDG 4: Quality Education

The article mentions that nearly half of the beneficiaries of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) are military families, while about a quarter are seniors. This highlights the connection to SDG 4, which focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

SDG 1: No Poverty

The article mentions the allocation of funds through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to North Carolina. This relates to SDG 1, which aims to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

The article emphasizes the need for congressional action to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This aligns with SDG 17, which focuses on strengthening global partnerships for sustainable development.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Target 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020

The article highlights the Biden administration’s efforts to provide affordable high-speed internet access through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in North Carolina. This aligns with Target 9.c of SDG 9, which aims to increase access to information and communications technology.

Target 4.c: By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states

The article mentions that nearly half of the beneficiaries of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) are military families, while about a quarter are seniors. This indicates the importance of internet access for education and aligns with Target 4.c of SDG 4, which focuses on increasing the supply of qualified teachers and promoting education in developing countries.

Target 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable

The article mentions the allocation of funds through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to North Carolina. This relates to Target 1.3 of SDG 1, which aims to implement social protection systems and measures for the poor and vulnerable.

Target 17.2: Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

The article emphasizes the need for congressional action to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This aligns with Target 17.2 of SDG 17, which focuses on enhancing global macroeconomic stability through policy coordination.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, there are indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

  • Number of households in North Carolina with access to affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
  • Number of Americans benefiting from the program
  • Amount of money saved by beneficiaries on their internet bills
  • Percentage of military families benefiting from the program
  • Percentage of seniors benefiting from the program
  • Amount of funding allocated to North Carolina through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
  • Funding extension for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through congressional action

4. SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Target 9.c: Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020 – Number of households in North Carolina with access to affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
– Number of Americans benefiting from the program
– Amount of money saved by beneficiaries on their internet bills
SDG 4: Quality Education

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: ncnewsline.com

 

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