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This article was published on March 31, 2017

    FCC kneecaps plan that provides internet to low-income Americans

    FCC kneecaps plan that provides internet to low-income Americans
    Rachel Kaser
    Story by

    Rachel Kaser

    Internet Culture Writer

    Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

    It’s about to get harder for low-income families to have access to discounted broadband internet. The Federal Communications Committee is changing the approval process for the Lifeline Program.

    FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated that he was switching the approval process for the Lifeline program from the federal government to the state. He went on to say:

    By letting states take the lead on certification as envisioned by Congress, we will strengthen the Lifeline program

    Meaning every company that wants to offer discounted broadband service to poor people in more than one state will have get approval on a state-by-state basis, which will undoubtedly take quite some time.

    The Lifeline program has been in place since 1985, when it offered discount phone service for low-income families. According to the FCC, the point of the program was to:

    …to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services.

    Last year, the program expanded to include broadband support.

    Pai implies that most citizens who now benefit from the Lifeline program will not see a change. Last month, he said that 99-percent of the providers approved under the old approval method will not be effected.