Member News

NaLA Comments on Canceled Senate Committee Vote

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee postponed its markup, where it was expected to consider Senator Cantwell’s Spectrum Bill, which included $7 billion to fund the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through the remainder of the year.

The following quote can be attributed to David B. Dorwart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

“With just two weeks to avert an ACP funding gap and a dramatic spike in the cost of keeping connected for 23 million low-income US households, the National Lifeline Association urges Leader Schumer to bring the bipartisan Luján-Vance-Rosen-Wicker bill to fund the ACP to a floor vote in the Senate immediately. The families, veterans, elderly, learners, workers and telehealth users who depend on this vital program from coast-to-coast, across rural America and in our suburbs and cities deserve to remain connected and cannot wait.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Comments on Canceled Senate Committee Vote
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NaLA’s Statement on ACP Amendment in FAA Authorization Bill

This afternoon, Senator Luján (D-NM) introduced an amendment to the FAA bill with Senators Welch (D-VT), Vance (R-OH), Wicker (R-MS), Rosen (D-NV), and Daines (R-MT) that would provide $6 billion to ACP and $3.08 billion to the “Rip and Replace” program.

The amendment also includes several reforms to the ACP program and a “pay for” provided via a three-year spectrum auction reauthorization that directs the FCC to auction spectrum that should be uncontroversial.

The following statement can be attributed to David B. Dowart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

“The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) thanks Senators Luján, Welch, Vance, Wicker, Rosen, and Daines for their amendment to the FAA bill that would fund and reform the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Internet access in our digital era is absolutely essential, particularly for seniors, rural communities, and veterans who participate in and depend on the ACP every day to connect to telehealth, education, jobs, and community. This is a critically important amendment and we urge Congress to include this amendment in the must-pass FAA reauthorization.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA’s Statement on ACP Amendment in FAA Authorization Bill
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NaLA’s Statement on the Last Day of ACP

April marks the last fully funded month of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP.) Come May, more than 23 million American households will begin paying more for their monthly internet service costs, or risk losing it altogether. In order to keep these individuals connected, Congress must appropriate additional funding for the ACP.

The following response can be attributed to David B. Dowart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

“Today is the last fully funded day of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). We need two things: a short-term solution to bridge the gap in funding and a long-term, sustainable source of funding for affordable broadband.

The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) commends Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell for her leadership in proposing legislation to fund the ACP through the Spectrum and National Security Act. NaLA joins other leading stakeholders in supporting this important and timely short-term funding solution for the ACP. This legislation would provide funding through the rest of the year for a program that has connected one in six U.S. households. NaLA looks forward to working with all in Congress to pass this legislation which needed to avoid an ACP funding gap and we remain committed to work with the USF Working Group and all stakeholders on long-term funding for the ACP.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA’s Statement on the Last Day of ACP
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NaLA Statement on Appropriations Package Passed to Avoid A Government Shutdown

Over the weekend, President Biden signed a $1.2 trillion spending package approved by the Senate and House allocating federal government funding until the fiscal year’s end.

The funding package was passed after months of negotiations between members of Congress and invests in various sectors and services of the government. However, despite the immense bipartisan support it has raised, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was ultimately not included in the final appropriations.

Public interest groups, local and state leaders, and more have continuously advocated alongside NaLA for additional funding for the ACP.

The following response can be attributed to David B. Dowart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

“For the 23 million low-income households representing an estimated 72 million Americans who depend on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), today is a day of frustration and worry.

With the ACP weeks away from running out of money, no additional funding was appropriated to keep the program afloat and to keep American families connected each and every month.

As a result, enrolled ACP households will begin to receive FCC-mandated notices next week with a $30 bill increase that they will need to pay to keep their services. For many of these families – nearly half of them military families and more than half of them un- or under-banked, it will be one bill too many. They will lose their internet access, and they will fall further behind without access to many of the things most of us take for granted.

As we move closer to ACP funding exhaust in May, we move ever closer to erasing several years of incredible progress in closing the broadband affordability gap. As the government continues to pump tens of billions of dollars into building networks to predominantly poor and rural places through the BEAD program, it will begin to do so without the ACP which in part was designed to ensure that consumers could afford the services offered over those networks.

Disconnecting millions of families and stranding billions of dollars in infrastructure investment makes no sense. In fact, study after study has found that it’s more expensive to do that than it is to fund the ACP.

NaLA once again joins the astonishingly broad coalition of industry and public interest stakeholders calling on the White House and Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress to act swiftly to ensure that the ACP gets additional funding before it runs out. Internet for all is something upon which nearly everyone agrees. It’s not too late – FUND AND SAVE THE ACP NOW.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Statement on Appropriations Package Passed to Avoid A Government Shutdown
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National Lifeline Association Funding Equipment Suppliers Committee Welcomes New Chair Shawn Khoja of ViaOne Services

Kennett Square, Pa., February 21, 2024 – The NaLA Funding Equipment Suppliers (FES) Committee is pleased to announce a significant transition in its leadership. Effective today, Shawn Khoja from ViaOne Services will take on the role of Committee Chair, succeeding Nathan Stierwalt of PWG Network Solutions, who graciously steps down after a foundational and impactful tenure.

Nathan played a pivotal role in founding the FES Committee when it started in March 2023. He will continue as a member of its Advisory Committee, representing Vortex Wireless, while also retaining his Board of Directors seat for the rest of his term. Under his guidance, the Committee has flourished, becoming instrumental in steering collaborative and innovative efforts within the equipment supplier sector to support the continuity of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline industries. His dedication has not only set a high benchmark for leadership but has also fostered partnerships among the distinguished FES Committee members representing Bmobile, CommSell, Eternity Technology, FlexSource, FOXX Development, Hot Pepper Mobile, KonnectONE, Maxwest, Quality One Wireless, SKY Devices, SSB Phones, Union Telecom, and Vortex. 

Shawn joins the FES Committee as Chair with a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success. As the Senior Director of Supply Chain at ViaOne Services LLC, Shawn has demonstrated remarkable expertise in procurement, overseeing mobile handset and tablet acquisitions valued at over $50 million annually. Furthermore, his entrepreneurial spirit, illustrated by his successful management and sale of multiple Cricket Wireless stores and substantial experience in retail sales programs, sets him apart as an industry leader. These accomplishments, combined with his robust management skills and deep industry knowledge from his tenure at ViaOne Services and earlier entrepreneurial endeavors—make him an ideal successor to take the FES Committee to new heights.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Policy & Management and Political Science from Carnegie Mellon University, Shawn’s academic background further complements his comprehensive understanding of the industry’s challenges and opportunities.

The Committee is excited about the leadership Shawn will bring to his new role. His forward-thinking approach, industry acumen, and commitment to excellence are just what the FES Committee needs as it continues to grow and evolve.

Please join NaLA in thanking Nathan Stierwalt for his outstanding service and welcoming Shawn Khoja as he begins his tenure as Committee Chair. For further information about NaLA’s FES Committee, please visit here.

Find the full announcement here.

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Glen Echo GroupNational Lifeline Association Funding Equipment Suppliers Committee Welcomes New Chair Shawn Khoja of ViaOne Services
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NaLA Statement on FCC Guidance Regarding ACP Wind-Down

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released guidelines to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on how to inform their subscribers about the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Currently, the federal subsidy benefit is expected to run out of funding by May 2024, with new enrollments ceasing on February 8, 2024.

The following response can be attributed to David B. Dowart, Chairman of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

“Yesterday, bi-partisan legislation was introduced in Congress to fund the ACP through 2024.  NaLA joined hundreds of organizations in supporting that legislation and we thank Senators Peter Welch (D-VT), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), along with Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Michael Lawler (R-NY-17), Marcus Molinaro (R-NY-19) and Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY-4) for their leadership in introducing the bi-partisan, bi-cameral ACP Extension Act.

In the absence of certainty regarding future ACP funding, the FCC today announced ACP wind-down plans that would end the ability of eligible households to enroll in ACP as of February 8, 2024.

If allowed to go into effect, the ACP Enrollment Freeze would leave more than 20 million households across rural and urban America that are eligible for ACP support to stay connected to the Internet without access to it.

An Enrollment Freeze also would result in the dismantling of the unprecedented outreach infrastructure built by industry, public interest and civil rights organizations, and trusted community partner organizations.  Maintaining existing outreach capacity and partnerships is essential to the ACP’s success and ensuring that low-income consumers – no matter where they live – can afford Internet access that is essential for just about everything from access to jobs, healthcare, education and emergency services, to connecting with family, friends and community.

We urge Congress not to allow the ACP Enrollment Freeze to go into effect and to do so by passing before February 8, 2024 legislation that provides funding for the ACP through at least 2024. NaLA stands ready to work with Congress and all stakeholders to develop a sustainable source of ACP funding so that all low-income Americans can afford to stay connected to the Internet every month.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Statement on FCC Guidance Regarding ACP Wind-Down
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NaLA Applauds Introduction of the Bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024

Today, the bicameral, bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act was introduced, aiming to allocate $7 billion to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Led by U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and U.S. Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), this legislation seeks to expand affordable high-speed internet access to eligible households nationwide.

The following statement can be attributed to NaLA Board Chairman David Dorwart:

“The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) supports this bipartisan bill to secure additional funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). With the $7 billion in appropriated funds, we can ensure the 22 million households currently using the program do not lose their mobile and fixed internet access. Broadband is crucial to participate in all aspects of modern life and the funding from the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024 is crucial so no household is left behind.”

The bill has gathered immense support from ACP stakeholders, participants, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit here.

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Applauds Introduction of the Bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024
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NaLA Applauds White House Call for ACP Funding

Today, the White House published a supplemental funding request to Congress to address critical domestic priorities, including the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Administration is requesting additional funds to strengthen the program by extending free and discounted high-speed internet for eligible households through 2024.

NaLA released the following statement from Board Chairman David Dorwart:

“NaLA commends the White House for recognizing the importance of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and for asking Congress for emergency funding to avert the program’s looming funding cliff. This funding and additional tranches of emergency funding will be needed as work continues to establish permanent funding for the ACP. Without such support, more than 21 million households would face the grim prospect of losing access to affordable mobile and fixed broadband solutions essential to full participation in our society and economy.”

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Applauds White House Call for ACP Funding
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