Federal officials Tuesday released a draft plan to expand a $9.25-a-month phone subsidy for low-income people to include broadband Internet service.
The plan, tentatively announced in mid-2015, is aimed at helping bridge a potentially worrisome divide between higher-income and lower-income households when it comes to Internet access.
But critics, including Republican members of Congress and of the Federal Communications Commission, say the program has been subject to serious waste and abuse, and its safeguards should be further strengthened before it is expanded.
An FCC vote on the plan is expected at the agency’s March 31 meeting. Details were announced on Tuesday by two Democrats on the commission, Chairman Tom Wheeler and Mignon Clyburn. The plan would broaden the 30-year-old phone subsidy known as Lifeline to include broadband, either as a stand-alone service or bundled with other services. It appears likely to attract support from the FCC’s Democrats, who hold a majority, although Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, the third Democrat, was still studying the proposal on Tuesday. FCC aides said changes to the draft plan were possible.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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