In today’s world, access to the internet is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. That’s why the FCC’s decision in 2015 to classify the internet as a public utility was the right call.
So why in the WORLD did Trump's new FCC Chair take action to make it harder for low-income Americans to get online?
The Lifeline Modernization Order is on the cusp of helping millions of low-income Americans afford broadband access. But Ajit Pai, in one of his first acts as Trump's FCC Chairman, froze Lifeline’s expansion to include broadband, citing “waste, fraud, and abuse,” which he has failed to provide any evidence for.1
But low-income Americans are forced to choose between what utilities they can afford. Internet access is often the first to go, putting them even further behind other Americans in terms of education, jobs, and access to information.
Tell FCC Chairman Pai: Don't block low-income Americans from gaining internet access.
Lifeline has provided affordable telephone service to millions of Americans for over 30 years. Last year, the FCC voted to allow the Lifeline program to cover internet bills in addition to phone bills, an important step in bridging the digital divide that disproportionately affects Black and Brown Americans, as well as low-income folks in rural areas.
Submit your comment to the FCC: Tell Chairman Pai to un-freeze the expansion of Lifeline.
Low-income Americans jump through enormous hoops to get access to the internet when they need it. With as many as 7 out of 10 teachers assigning homework that requires broadband access,2 low-income kids can be found doing their homework at McDonald’s,3 or standing outside their schools after dark trying to catch a WiFi signal.4
Applying for jobs can become nearly impossible without broadband, now that online employment sites rival personal and professional networks for sources of job opportunities, and many companies now exclusively post openings for work online.5
But thanks to the public outcry of Demand Progress and our allies, we won an opportunity to submit public comment to the FCC about its decision to prevent nine companies from providing broadband services through Lifeline.
If we can overwhelm the FCC with comments, they will know they are being watched by digital activists and low-income advocates all over the country.
Help millions of Americans get access to broadband. Click here to submit your comment and tell the FCC to implement the Lifeline Modernization Order.
1. The Verge, "FCC seeks comment on whether it should continue halting internet subsidies for the poor" March 3, 2017.
2. Aspen Institute, "Millions of children can’t do their homework because they don’t have access to broadband internet," November 5, 2015
3. Wall Street Journal, "The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald's," January 28, 2013.
4. New York Times, "Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind," February 22, 2016.
5. Pew Research Center, "Lack of broadband can be key obstacle, especially for job seekers," December 28, 2015.