On Thursday, June 18, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a new proceeding to reform and modernize its Lifeline program with a refocus on broadband. The following statement can be attributed to Amina Fazlullah, the Director of Policy of the Benton Foundation:
The Benton Foundation applauds the FCC's move today to modernize its Lifeline program. This is an important step to provide low-income Americans with meaningful access to robust broadband.
Now, more so than ever before, broadband is a necessary requisite to partake in our democratic society. Vulnerable communities, many of which are already lagging behind in broadband adoption, need this support to meet their vital and basic communication needs. Only 48% of households making less than $25,000 income have broadband access. With substantial support for broadband services, a modernized Lifeline program will be great news for low-income consumers.
We look forward to engaging in the Lifeline debate and commend FCC Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel for their leadership on this issue.