Chairman Pai Response Regarding Keeping Low-Income Americans Connected
On Aug 13, 2020, House Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) led Democratic Communications Subcommittee members in writing to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to urge the FCC to provide unlimited voice minutes and unlimited mobile data to Lifeline recipients, with an increase in the basic support amount to offset any associated incremental costs, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sept 3, Chairman Pai responded by listing various actions the FCC has taken during the crisis. Regarding Lifeline, Chairman Pai noted that the FCC has taken repeated action to ensure the program is as available as possible to aid low-income American families and veterans impacted by the pandemic, including working with other ageices to promote LIfeline awareness. Chairman Pai claims the FCC is faced with wildly divergent request regarding increasing Lifleine data. Chairman Pai proposed a modest increase to 4.5 GB, in line with increases the FCC has successfully overseen over the last few years. "To be clear, I agree more can be done. But with the tax that funds our universal service programs at an all-time high, major new funding initiatives must come from Congress. That's why I have repeatedly called on Congress to establish a Remote Learning Initative an ensure that every student in this country can access online learning resources as schools are reopening. And that's why I have requested Congress to fund new connectivity programs for individuals and families experiencing economic hardship as a result of th COVID-19 pandemic."
Chairman Response Regarding Keeping Low-Income Americans Connected