In response to COVID-19 and increased unemployment, FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel calls for Lifeline update, expansion

FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel called for updating and extending the Lifeline program in response to news that nearly 10 million Americans filed unemployment at the end of March. “As the coronavirus places new strains on our economy and households across the country, we need to make sure that no one is left behind when it comes to communications,” said Commissioner Rosenworcel. “Now is the time to see how we can modernize our Lifeline program and extend its reach to so many in need. This includes the millions of recently unemployed, seniors, and others at risk at this difficult time. The FCC has done so before in the face of crisis and it’s time to do so again.”

The federal Lifeline program provides a modest $9.25/month subsidy to low-income households to help pay for modern communications services, including broadband. CWA has long supported the Lifeline program

Links:

Commissioner Rosenworcel on weekly jobless report showing 6.6 million new unemployment claims (FCC, Apr. 7, 2020)

CWA: FCC must pause T-Mobile-Sprint merger review pending investigation into Sprint’s Lifeline program fraud (Speed Matters, Sep. 24, 2019)