Both agencies will host a series of ACP Connects NJ events across the state to drive awareness about affordable broadband options and to assist with enrollment
TRENTON, NJ – August 3, 2023 – The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, and the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) are partnering to launch ACP Connects NJ to help build awareness and participation in New Jersey for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP is a national broadband affordability initiative of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that helps households afford the broadband they need for work, school, health care, and more. Eligible households receive a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service. The benefit also provides a discount of up to $100 per household toward a one-time qualifying purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet.
NJSL received a federal ACP grant for $400,000 from the FCC to support New Jersey households struggling to afford internet service. NJSL and NJDOH will collaborate with other community partners, including food pantries and Federally Qualified Health Centers, to host enrollment and outreach events. The ACP Connects NJ initiative will concentrate on communities in Central and South Jersey.
“The digital divide and challenges to access are very real for New Jerseyans. A 2022 Rutgers University study showed more than 10% of NJ households do not have broadband internet access, and many more cannot afford or get home internet at speeds and prices that truly provide universal access,” said Jen Nelson, New Jersey State Librarian. “By bringing people affordable access through ACP enrollment, libraries and health care organizations are bridging the divide in a meaningful way.”
“The pandemic has shown us the importance of providing timely, personalized information and outreach to vulnerable communities and increasing access to care and education, including telehealth, to improve positive health outcomes,” said Nashon Hornsby, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Community Health at NJDOH.
The FCC has targeted approximately $66 million to fund the ACP initiative, to drive awareness and enrollment across the country. Building on its current community partnerships, the FCC is providing financial support to partner organizations nationwide to serve as trusted community messengers about the ACP and equipping them with funding to pursue innovative outreach strategies to reach historically underserved and unserved communities.
Eligible households can enroll by going to GetInternet.gov to submit an online application or print a mail-in application. For questions about the ACP Connect NJ initiative, contact Mimi Lee, New Jersey State Library, at email@example.com, (609) 278-2640 x191.
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About the New Jersey State Library
The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University (TESU), connects people with information and resources through its service to libraries, state government, TESU staff and students, and NJ residents, including those with special needs. NJSL provides support for public, school, academic, and special libraries, and continues to promote services for learners of all ages, including key areas of continuing need such as digital literacy, business outreach, workforce development, summer reading programs, and services for the visually and physically impaired, among others. For more information, visit www.njstatelib.org.