The FCC deserves praise for Lifeline modernization proposal

Contact: Linda Sherry, 202-544-3088

Statement of Ken McEldowney executive director of Consumer Action, a San Francisco- and Washington, DC-based national consumer advocacy and education membership organization on FCC Vote to Modernize Lifeline to Bring Affordable Broadband Internet to Low-Income Households

Consumer Action applauds the March 31 vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bring the Lifeline program into the 21st Century by expanding it to include broadband for qualified low-income households. The FCC deserves praise for embarking on an important new course that will help keep Lifeline relevant and improve the lives of low-income Americans for decades to come. 

We also commend the Commissioners for recognizing the concerns from advocacy groups, including Consumer Action, and maintaining wireless-only voice Lifeline service that 13 million low-income U.S. households currently rely for five years instead of just three. We encourage the Commission to seek input from all parties on the phase-in throughout the process.

We agree with Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's statement, that Lifeline modernization will bring communities closer together by providing a bridge for low-income Americans to access employment opportunities, educational tools and healthcare services. We look forward to working with the Commission and others to educate low-income consumers about the new Lifeline options available to them. We urge the Commission to embark on a comprehensive outreach program to sharply increase the number of eligible households who are on Lifeline and fight efforts to lower the new flexible budget on the program.


Through multilingual consumer education materials, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy, Consumer Action empowers underrepresented consumers nationwide to assert their rights in the marketplace and financially prosper.





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