Civil Rights Groups Question Lifeline Changes

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, Color of Change, NAACP and the Benton Foundation are among the organizations concerned about proposed changes to the Lifeline program, which is on the docket for the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming open meeting. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai -- who has long called for reforms to deter waste, fraud and abuse in Lifeline -- is seeking a vote at the agency’s Nov. 16 meeting on a major overhaul of the program, which subsidizes phone and broadband service for the poor. Among his proposals is a plan to eliminate funding for so-called wireless resellers like TracFone, which rely on another carrier’s network to provide service. “This item is an assault on Lifeline,” the groups write in a letter. “It will severely destabilize the program and erode Lifeline’s promise to bring affordable communications services to low-income households, Tribal households, veterans, the elderly, and people with disabilities.”

Civil Rights Groups Question Lifeline Changes NHMC and a Diverse Group of Organizations Tell the FCC That Proposed Changes to Lifeline Will Harm the Poor (NHMC) Survey (Alliance for Freedom) Groups Make Last Ditch Lifeline Pitch (Broadcasting&Cable)