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Lifeline Awareness Week: In 2018, Protecting Universal Service Is More Important Than Ever

September 14, 2018 FCC , Lifeline

This week is National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week. The Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates mark this week to highlight the critical role of the federal Lifeline program. Lifeline provides subsidies to low-income families for basic voice or broadband service, and has been a key component of promoting universal service for over three decades. Universal service and universal access to essential communications tools have been the cornerstone of U.S. communications policy dating to the 1930s.

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Chairman Pai Plans to Put an End to the U.S. Commitment to Universal Service and Affordability

November 16, 2017 Affordable Access , Broadband Access , FCC , Lifeline , Lifeline Modernization

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to modernize the Lifeline program for the digital age to help low-income families, veterans, and children gain access to the internet. This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is poised to initiate steps to drastically roll back the program, ultimately leaving millions of Lifeline subscribers and eligible families without a service provider.

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The FCC Should Continue Its Strong Role in Protecting Broadband Privacy

July 10, 2017 Broadband Privacy , CPNI , FCC , Lifeline , Privacy

When people use the internet, they provide a vast amount of personal, often sensitive information. Ill-protected personal information can result in anything from predatory advertising to fraud. Consumers need strong rules and aggressive agencies to protect their online privacy. The Federal Communications Commission is the agency in charge of implementing and enforcing communications law and regulations. The FCC is ideally situated to protect consumers’ information on communications networks, considering its success in protecting subscribers’ privacy in other areas such as telephone and cable networks.

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Beyond Net Neutrality: The Importance of Title II for Broadband

May 2, 2017 Broadband Privacy , Lifeline , Net Neutrality , Net Neutrality in 2017 , Title II

In its 2015 Open Internet Order, the Federal Communications Commission reclassified broadband internet under Title II of the Communications Act, establishing broadband providers as common carriers under the same framework as our telephone networks. By embracing its Title II authority and creating clear, bright line rules against blocking and discrimination, the FCC enacted the strongest net neutrality rules in history.

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The Lifeline Program is Essential to the Public Safety Sector

July 21, 2016 E911 , FCC , Legislation , Lifeline

Imagine you’re facing an emergency and you need a paramedic, fireman, or police officer, but don’t have a cellular phone available to call 9-1-1, or you do call 9-1-1 but don’t know or cannot communicate your location, and dispatcher cannot trace it. For many Americans this is a very frightening reality. Many low-income people cannot afford cell phones, and are unable to contact emergency services without a landline connection.

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