Press Release Tech Transitions

Public Knowledge Files Lifeline Reply Comments to End Digital Divide

September 30, 2015 , ,

Today, Public Knowledge submitted reply comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s proceeding on modernizing the Lifeline program to support broadband Internet access service. Public Knowledge supports updating Lifeline to close the digital divide by making broadband more affordable to low-income Americans.

The following can be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Government Affairs Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge strongly supports updating the Lifeline program to help make broadband more affordable to low-income Americans. Thirty years ago, the Commission correctly recognized that basic voice service was critical for Americans to fully engage in our society and created the Lifeline program. Today, broadband is the essential communications service, and the Commission should modernize Lifeline to reflect that fact.

“Americans increasingly rely on broadband in all aspects of their lives. Broadband enables students to complete homework and access educational resources that may be unavailable at their local library. It’s also a necessity for Americans looking for jobs and how we access news, transact commerce, connect with loved ones, and communicate with government and our elected officials. Broadband truly is the communications medium of the 21st century.

“The FCC’s record generated hundreds of comments from telecommunications and cable providers as well as trade associations, consumer groups, school boards, and health care organizations in support for extending Lifeline to broadband. The Commission should move quickly to update the program to help bring millions of Americans online.

“Access to affordable broadband can help improve educational outcomes, broaden employment opportunities, and deliver health care services for low-income Americans. It can truly be a 'Lifeline' to help people lift themselves out of poverty.”

You may view our comments here.