FCC Abandoning Lifeline Recipients

The Federal Communications Commission adopted an item on the Lifeline program which makes telecommunications services more affordable for low-income households. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Foundation Adrianne B. Furniss:

Make available to all people of the United States, a worldwide telecommunications service at reasonable charges. This is the core Congressional mandate that the FCC abandons with the item it adopts today. Since 2010, the FCC had been consistently working to improve and modernize the Lifeline program. But vulnerable communities, such as our nation's veterans -- who make up 13 percent of Lifeline users -- and low-income students -- who need broadband to succeed at school – are now less likely to benefit from the low-cost services the Lifeline program should bring to anyone who is eligible. Today’s FCC action and the resulting proceeding will result in a Lifeline program that is drastically smaller and less effective. This will widened the chasm between those who can afford access to essential telecommunications services and those who cannot. This will harm vulnerable Americans and hold America back.