Lifeline

A April 2013 Congressional hearing made us think – “Why don’t we make it easy for people to follow developments in the FCC’s Lifeline program?”

Common Sense Kids Action Calls for Restoring Lifeline Eligibilities

Location:
Common Sense Media, 650 Townsend, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States
Recommendation:
3

Common Sense Kids Action has joined with educational groups to champion the restoration of Lifeline eligibility for nine companies.

No Health Insurance Is Hard. No Phone? Unthinkable.

Location:
Springville, UT, United States
Recommendation:
2

As the health care debate thundered away in Washington, Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) stirred up a social media squall by suggesting that uninsured Americans should invest in their own health care “rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love.”

Rural broadband subsidy programs are a failure. We need to fix them.

Location:
Technology Policy Institute, 1401 Eye NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
3

A cost-effective subsidy program should provide funds first where they will yield the largest bang for the buck and last where they yield the smallest.

6 changes the FCC has made in just six weeks

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Here's some of what the Federal Communications Commission has done under President Donald Trump ...

Civil Rights Groups Seek Meeting With FCC's Pai

Location:
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 1629 K Street NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—whose over 200 members include the Communications Workers of America, the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League—has written Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to express concerns about his early actions as chairman.

FCC Chairman Pai Needs to Stop Blocking Opportunities for Low-Income People to Get Online

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Since his promotion to chairman, Ajit Pai has taken steps to limit Lifeline broadband options and has essentially frozen Lifeline implementation. Thanks to the outcry from nearly 40 advocacy groups — including Free Press — Chairman Pai is now inviting public comment on his decision to stop nine companies from providing broadband service to Lifeline customers.

FCC Seeks Comment on Request for Reconsideration Concerning Lifeline Broadband Providers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a request for reconsideration of the Bureau’s reconsideration of the Lifeline Broadband Provider designations.

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Benton Welcomes Lifeline Proceeding, Urges Implementation of Program to Ensure Affordable Broadband

Location:
Benton Foundation, 727 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL, 60202, United States
Recommendation:
2

Today’s action by the Wireline Competition Bureau is a welcome step in the right direction. We strongly urge the Commission to move forward with implementing the modernization of the Lifeline program so that our nation’s most vulnerable are connected to the opportunities made possible by broadband. Every day that the FCC delays in implementing Lifeline is another day veterans, rural students, people with disabilities, and other low-income people are left waiting in the digital desert.

America’s Digital Lifeline Is On Life Support

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

As the CEO of Connecting for Good, a nonprofit in Kansas City, Esselman helps several thousand households at low-income housing projects in the city get free access to the internet. Now it wants to expand its reach, having recently applied for a federal program called Lifeline, which provides a monthly subsidy of $9.25 to low-income Americans to allow them to get online. But the Trump administration just made it harder for the new program, which launched in December, to have an impact.

NTCA to Senate: Experience Counts With Broadband Subsidies

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

Broadband got a lot of attention from the Senate March 1 at an infrastructure hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee, including calls from a transportation official to protect the connected-car spectrum cable operators are convinced can be shared with their Wi-Fi offerings.

It’s time bring US broadband subsidies up to world standards

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

Count yourself unlucky if you are a US telecommunications customer, because you have been funding a system that is far behind international standards.

Groups Push Chairman Pai to Reverse Lifeline Move

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Over 40 groups have written Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to ask him to reverse the decision to rescind Lifeline broadband subsidy eligibility for nine companies.

Dozens of Digital Inclusion Groups Urge FCC to Support Internet ‘Lifeline’ for Low-Income Families

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Nearly 40 civil rights, social justice, labor and digital inclusion groups sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to reverse its decision that undermined the Lifeline Program.

How Tech Policies May Evolve Under Republicans and Trump

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
3

A Q&A with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD).

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The FCC Is Sucking The Life Out Of Lifeline

Recommendation:
2

Here at Benton, we work to make sure communications policy strengthen communities and democracy. We believe that expanding access, adoption, and use of communications technologies is essential for democratic participation -- so naturally, closing the digital divide is a key priority. The Federal Communications Commission, charged with making communication service available “to all the people of the United States" -- has a number of programs to ensure universal service. The E-rate program, created by Congress in 1996, makes broadband and Wi-Fi services more affordable for schools and libraries. The Lifeline program makes telecommunications services more affordable for low-income households. But recent FCC activity has indicated that these programs are at risk -- odd behavior from new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who said, “I believe one of our core priorities going forward should be to close [the digital divide].”

More House Members Push Pai On Lifeline Authorizations

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Over a dozen Democratic members of the House Commerce Committee have asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reverse his reversal of nine Lifeline broadband subsidy authorizations granted in the waning weeks of his predecessor, Chairman Tom Wheeler.

A Measured Lifeline Reboot

Location:
Mobile Future, 1325 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20004, United States
Recommendation:
1

It is disappointing that a recent order from the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Bureau to reconsider the eligibility for participation of just nine of the more than 900 companies currently participating in the Lifeline program has sparked such a maelstrom of misinformation and motive-questioning.

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The FCC Is Sucking The Life Out Of Lifeline

Here at Benton, we work to make sure communications policy strengthen communities and democracy. We believe that expanding access, adoption, and use of communications technologies is essential for democratic participation -- so naturally, closing the digital divide is a key priority. The Federal Communications Commission, charged with making communication service available “to all the people of the United States" -- has a number of programs to ensure universal service. The E-rate program, created by Congress in 1996, makes broadband and Wi-Fi services more affordable for schools and libraries. The Lifeline program makes telecommunications services more affordable for low-income households. But recent FCC activity has indicated that these programs are at risk -- odd behavior from new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai who said, “I believe one of our core priorities going forward should be to close [the digital divide].”

Concerns about FCC E-rate letter on fiber broadband deployment

Location:
American Library Association's Washington Office, 1615 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20009-2520, United States
Recommendation:
3

While we anticipated the Federal Communications Commission would take a look at its Universal Service Fund (USF) programs once Chairman Ajit Pai was in place, we did not anticipate the speed at which moves to review and evaluate previous actions would occur.

Help the poor by dropping Lifeline

Location:
American Enterprise Institute, 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

If the Lifeline program were ended at the federal level, states would likely need to change their systems as well. That would be complicated, but it is time to get telephone companies and telephone regulators out of the business of public assistance, leaving it to government agencies that are designed to be experts in that field.

Millions Need the Broadband Program the FCC Just Put on Hold

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Internet access is at least as crucial to taking part in the 21st-century US economy as a phone or a car. But one-third of adults have no broadband connection at home.

41 Democratic Reps Write to FCC Chairman Pai Over Lifeilne Program

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Democratic Reps are hammering Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai over his decision to cut nine companies from a program that provides subsidized internet service to low-income people.

New chairman quickly shakes up FCC

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Ajit Pai, the new Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is quickly making his mark on the agency, shaking up its operations and rolling back Obama-era initiatives. His moves have drawn Republican praise but alarmed Democrats and consumer groups and set the stage for the fights ahead.

Democratic Senators Push FCC Chairman Pai to Reverse Lifeline Decision

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Corey Booker (D-NJ) are leading more than a dozen senators (all Dems except independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont) calling on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reverse his decision to withdraw Lifeline broadband subsidy authorizations from nine companies.

Ex-Wheeler Aide Sohn Slams FCC Chairman Pai For Lifeline Moves

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, took aim at new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's reversal of a handful of Lifeline subsidy authorizations.

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Is This What Transparency Looks Like?

On February 2, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said, "I want this Commission to be as open and accessible as possible to the American people. I want us to do a better job of communicating with those we are here to serve." The next day, Chairman Pai decided to rescind and hide facts previously released by the Commission.

Lifeline Providers Contest Order Revoking Lifeline Broadband Provider ETC Status

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

FreedomPop met with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s Senior Counsel on February 3, 2017, to contest the order revoking all previously-granted Lifeline broadband provider designations, including the one granted to FreedomPop. FreedomPop asserted the order is flawed and that, at minimum, this matter deserved further consideration so the FCC could provide a transparent and timely path forward for willing service providers looking to bring innovative and competitive broadband services to eligible Lifeline consumers.

Navajo Nation Expresses Concern With Timeframe for Subscribers to Provide Lifeline Documentation

Location:
National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), 1634 I St, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Navajo Nation sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on February 3, 2017 to express concern with the recent Universal Service Administrative Company decision to require Navajo Nation Lifeline subscribers to provide documents verifying their identity within 45 days.

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Defending the Indefensible: Chairman Pai’s Lifeline Reversal Will Widen the Digital Divide

To my great surprise and delight, the recent move by the Federal Communications Commission's new Republican majority to revoke the designations of nine companies as Lifeline providers has provoked a firestorm in the press, on social media, and on the Hill. The furor has been so intense that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai felt moved to defend the decision on Medium this week. But the Chairman doth protest too much. His thin arguments fail to mask two clear truths. 1) His actions will make the market for Lifeline broadband services less competitive, limiting choice and keeping prices high. As a result, fewer low income Americans will be able to afford broadband. And 2) He (and fellow FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly) fundamentally disagrees with the structure and goals of the Lifeline program and will seek to undermine it in word and deed.

Setting the Record Straight on the Digital Divide

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

One recent Federal Communications Commission decision has caused some controversy of late. Specifically, some have asked why the agency’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an order reconsidering nine companies’ eligibility to participate in the Lifeline program, which aims to help make voice and broadband more affordable to low-income Americans.

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