Today, the Federal Communications Commission’s Chairman Tom Wheeler shared proposals to restructure and modernize the Lifeline program with his fellow commissioners. The proposals seek to help low-income consumers afford access to broadband as an essential communications service critical to our daily lives. Public Knowledge supports the FCC expanding Lifeline to broadband and applauds Commissioner Clyburn for championing affordable broadband for the public.
The following can be attributed to Kristine DeBry, Vice President, Policy Strategy Center at Public Knowledge:
“People increasingly depend on the Internet for access to jobs, education, news, services, communications, and everything else under the sun. Employers assume prospective employees have it and school systems assume their students can access materials online. In times of emergency, we depend on broadband to provide life-saving information and to keep us in touch with our loved ones. We no longer need to debate if broadband is essential to the lives and well-being of all Americans, for it has become obvious from the experience of our daily lives.
“The proposal to ‘reboot’ the Lifeline program to include broadband subsidies for our most poor and vulnerable follows in a long, bipartisan tradition of ensuring that all Americans have access to basic communications services. The FCC should move quickly to adopt this proposal as the first step of upgrading our national communications lifeline for the digital age.”