WASHINGTON and REDMOND, Wash. – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Microsoft are launching “Get Connected,” an initiative to boost enrollment in the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, at a community Labor Day festival in Atlanta, Ga. Additional events are planned throughout September and early October in Detroit, Mich., Memphis, Tenn., New York City, and rural North Carolina.
This partnership builds on the groundbreaking labor neutrality agreement between CWA and Microsoft, announced in June, which includes a commitment to collaborate on technology adoption and skill building programs.
In each city, CWA and Microsoft will work with local public housing authorities and other community partners to publicize the events and pre-qualify residents for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). On the day of each event, volunteers from Microsoft and CWA will help residents complete their ACP enrollment. Service providers that offer no-cost high-speed broadband plans to ACP enrollees will be available on-site to sign residents up for service. Volunteers will also collect school supplies.
“CWA members have a longstanding commitment to making sure that every household in America has reliable high-speed internet service, and we have been strong advocates for the Affordable Connectivity Program,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Microsoft shares this commitment, and we are excited to be able to combine our resources and expertise to help public housing residents enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program.”
“Broadband has become the electricity of the 21st century. It’s a fundamental right that should not be beyond the reach of anyone in America,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Vice Chair. “We’re glad to be working with CWA to bring more broadband access to more Americans through the Affordable Connectivity Program.”
The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program geared toward helping households afford broadband. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.