FCC makes it harder for poor people to get subsidized Internet access


The federal Lifeline program, established in 1985, gives people with a low-income, a $9.25 monthly household subsidy to purchase a mobile broadband service or home Internet. Regulators told nine service providers they can no longer take part in this program just weeks after they were initially approved. Regulators are now reconsidering the participation of the nine companies in the program and until further notice they changed their application status from “approved” to “pending”. Four of those companies were initially approved on December 1st and five others on January 18th.

Until recently, the companies could sell broadband-only plans in many US states to eligible people. The FCC decision basically forces a bill increase. Some poor people “will see their monthly bills increase by no more than $9.25”. Evaluating the petitions once again means that the Federal Communications Commission will have additional time to “consider measures that might be necessary to prevent further abuse, waste and in the Lifeline program” and to “promote program integrity”, the FCC wrote.


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