“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Thursday proposed helping low-income consumers with the cost of broadband Internet access through a program that subsidizes phone bills,” Gautham Nagesh reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Wheeler’s proposal would expand the government’s Lifeline program by giving low-income households the option to apply the subsidy to broadband Internet access, either wired or wireless. The proposal also seeks comment on whether carriers should provide a minimum level of service to consumers as part of the program, and what those service levels should be. The proposal tentatively proposes keeping the subsidy at $9.25 a month.”
“The Lifeline program has drawn criticism in recent years from lawmakers who argue it has become subject to fraud and abuse. Top Republicans of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday faulted the broadband expansion and said spending on Lifeline and other Universal Service programs should be capped,” Nagesh reports. “‘This proposal misses the mark on the reforms we need,’ Reps. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Greg Walden (R., Ore.) said in a statement. ‘Simply expanding the program without ensuring its effectiveness or longevity is the wrong approach if we’re going to do right by those who pay for the program, and those who depend on it.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]
Reporter issued 3 free ‘Obamaphones,’ courtesy of U.S. taxpayers – August 1, 2013