80 House members: update Lifeline for broadband!

Eighty House Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in support of the Commission’s proposal to modernize Lifeline to include broadband subsidies. The Lifeline program currently provides subsidies to low-income people for voice service. Wheeler’s proposal to update the program to include high-speed Internet is an important step toward providing all households with access to modern communications services.

“In order to fulfill its purpose of meeting the changing needs of low-income Americans, the FCC should update the program to reflect the increasing importance of the Internet,” the letter says. “Broadband has evolved to become an essential vehicle for expanding access to information, health services, educational resources, and employment opportunities. Often deprived of these opportunities due to the cost of broadband, low-income households are further disadvantaged in society.”

The letter recommends the Lifeline subsidy be made portable to all telecommunications services and the FCC should set minimum service standards that allow users functional Internet access.

This letter from the lawmakers is the latest in a long line of official support from the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, 44 mayors and city leaders, as well as a broad range of labor, civil rights, consumer, and education groups.

Read the full letter, and see the members who signed on, here.

Letter of support for Lifeline broadband subsidies (US House of Representatives, Feb. 12, 2016)


State, local, tribal governments advisory committee supports Lifeline modernization (Speed Matters, Nov. 29, 2015)


44 mayors, city leaders urge FCC to modernize Lifeline for broadband (Speed Matters, Dec. 10, 2015)


Broad range of groups support Lifeline for broadband (Speed Matters, Sept. 4, 2015)