FCC's Pai Gets Pushback on Lifeline Eligibility Rollback

Author: John Eggerton
Coverage Type: reporting
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was already getting pushback from Capitol Hill, his fellow Democratic commissioner, and others soon after he announced the plan to roll back the FCC's Lifeline eligibility program in favor of letting states decide who should get to provide the subsidized broadband service to low income residents.

“This is another effort by President Trump’s FCC to inflict death by a thousand cuts on the Lifeline program," said House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Rep Doris Matsui (D-CA) in a joint statement. "Through lawyerly maneuvering, the FCC is trying to disguise its efforts to eliminate a system designed to make it easier for anyone who needs access to broadband to get it—no matter where they live. We will continue to fight for this important program that keeps struggling families across the country connected.”

“Chairman Pai's statement confirms that under this Administration low-income Americans will have less choice for Lifeline broadband, and potential providers who want to serve low-income Americans will face greater barriers to entry and regulatory uncertainty," said Democratic FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "While today's announcement is not surprising, it is nonetheless deeply disappointing.”


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