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FCC overhauls the Lifeline program

2017-11-20 15:36 by


The FCC has made major changes Thursday to its Lifeline program that discounts phone service for low-income U.S.residents. The FCC expanded the program to include broadband last year, and has given participating households a $9.25 per month credit to use for internet access.

The changes immediately affect discounts available on Tribal lands by vastly limiting who can receive them. The commission also said it would begin considering a laundry list of proposals that include putting a spending cap on the program, severely constraining which providers can offer discounted service, and giving up federal approval of providers as well.

Those changes that apply to tribal lands will help reduce waste, fraud and abuse, and expand communications networks that lag behind the rest of the country.

The Lifeline program started in 1985 when landline phones were in most households. Mobile service was added in 2005, and broadband in 2016. Subscribers can get either landline or mobile service, not both.

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