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NewsPoster Apr 24, 2013 05:23 PM
Bill floated to extend FCC 'Lifeline' program for discounted broadband
A new act was introduced to the House of Representatives yesterday seeks to update the <a href="" rel='nofollow'>"Lifeline"</a> FCC program. The intent of the legislation is to expand the Lifeline program, and offer recipients the option of discounted telephone, mobile, and now, internet broadband access. The FCC chairman-supported bill was introduced on April 24 by representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Anne Eshoo (D-CA).<br />
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The bill dovetails with the FCC's <a href="" rel='nofollow'>"Connect America"</a> proposal to bring broadband to 100 million underserved US homes by 2020. Provisions inside the bill exist to expand the program, as well as cut down on well-publicized fraud in the system.<br />
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Changes underway in the Lifeline system, including the implementation of a "National Lifeline Accountability Database" are hoped to save $2 billion over three years, with approximately $200 million saved in 2012. <br />
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Funding for the extant Lifeline program comes from the <a href="" rel='nofollow'>Universal Service Fund</a> that is applied to most provider's bills to customers. No data has been provided as far as what extra funds the bill would necessitate, which would make this bill a difficult one to pass in the current federal financial climate.
Mr. Strat Apr 24, 2013 05:42 PM
Oh joy...more Obamaphones...
reader50 Apr 24, 2013 07:19 PM
Dialup went out of style 5-10 years ago. What does broadband internet have to do with phones? Or Obama for that matter - the article doesn't mention him at all.

I like the idea. POTS is going to be phased out presently, internet connectivity is increasingly needed for employment and education, and a significant portion of rural + lower-income Americans do not have broadband. If we don't do something ala the Rural Electrification Program, we'll encourage permanent class stratification.

The telecom companies are not breaking a sweat getting broadband to underserved areas, or getting into price wars with each other. When the market does not handle a necessity, government becomes the only option.
Charles Martin Apr 25, 2013 12:43 AM
Someone is against subsidizing broadband for the poor so that they have a shot at getting OUT of poverty? Wow, some people have hearts so hard the Grinch would use them to cut glass.
Mr. Strat Apr 25, 2013 10:25 AM
This is the program which provides free cell phones to people who should have more to worry about than a cell phone.
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