The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to propose a $1.7 billion plan to offer subsidized broadband internet access to low-income families.
The New York Times reports that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will outline the plan today. It involves making changes to Lifeline, a 30-year-old government program which helps poor Americans pay their phone bills.
According to senior officials, Wheeler will suggest giving recipients a choice of subsidized phone service, internet access or a mixture of both.
Lifeline is funded through a levy on landline and cellphone customers, but is not without controversy. Three men were charged last year with allegedly perpetrating a $32 million fraud against the scheme.
The FCC proposals are said to also include measures designed to combat abuses of the system.
➤ F.C.C. Chief Seeks Broadband Plan to Aid the Poor [New York Times]