Court halts FCC move to lower broadband subsidies for tribal areas
A federal court has blocked the Federal Communications Commission from making changes to its Lifeline broadband subsidy program that would have effectively eliminated benefits for many Native Americans living on tribal lands. A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of the FCC’s order, saying that it would likely cause significant loss of telecommunications service to tribal areas. “While there may be some public benefit to eliminating unnecessary spending, the Tribal Lifeline program has been in existence for nearly two decades and the Federal Communications Commission has not demonstrated that allowing it to continue in its current form while these consolidated cases remain pending will result in significant harm to the government or the public at large,” the court wrote in its order. The court said the FCC “identified no evidence of fraud or misuse of funds in the aspects of the program at issue here” and that the plaintiffs, which include the Crow Creek tribe and the National Lifeline Association, are likely to win the lawsuit against the agency.
Court halts FCC move to lower broadband subsidies for tribal areas Ajit Pai loses in court—FCC can’t kill broadband subsidy in Tribal areas (ars technica)