Saturday April 02, 2016

Regulators Expand Subsidy Program To Bring Broadband To The Poor

Federal regulators voted Thursday to expand a $1.5 billion phone subsidy program to bring broadband to the poor, recognizing the necessity of Internet access for work and education.

In a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved expanding the Lifeline program to include discounts for broadband Internet service. The vote split down party lines with the panel's three Democrats voting in favor and the two Republicans against. The vote expands the Reagan Era program, which was designed to provide subsidized phone service to low-income households, to broadband Internet service. Starting in December, broadband providers offering discounted Internet service to eligible Lifeline customers will receive a $9.25 subsidy per Lifeline subscriber.

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