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Once upon a time, having broadband Internet was considered a luxury, but now it’s required to compete in this fully Internet, technological age. Of course, households who are well off, can afford high speed Internet. They can get all kinds of top of the line software, the fastest Internet speed, the largest gigabytes, and other things, without struggling to maintain service every month. Nevertheless, the lower income class bracket must have some advantage as well, to be able to compete in an age, where sufficient Internet capabilities are required.
The US Government
On March 31, 2016, the FCC approved low-income Internet subsidizing. Some Republican Commissioners were primarily against the idea- wanting to keep the budget limit at $2 billion per year. However, they now see that they can approve this change, that will go beyond the $2 billion budget.
In this program, one subsidy is limited per household. Rather landline or wireless phone, this program will be available for millions of working class households. As a matter of fact, the cost for these households with this subsidy would be only $9.25 each month on their phone bill. With this small amount and a great opportunity, millions of families with incomes lower than $25,000 per year can have high speed Internet, without having any struggle to maintain it. They will be able to use this as a bundle with data and voice package, or use this Lifeline subsidy with broadband service only.
The Difference of Lifeline Today
Since the inception of the Lifeline program in 1985, a growing controversy has surrounded them, due to increasing numbers of fraud and abuse. However, now the FCC has made it possible for a significant amount of reduction in abuse, fraud, and waste, which significantly will reduce this negative reputation off of the Lifeline program. With this said, the FCC took different steps to eliminate abuse, fraud, and waste in the program, which includes taking determinations of eligibility away from those companies, and giving that to an independent, third party appointee.
The Scheduled Dates of Effective Change
The schedule dates and allowances of this program would start on December 1, 2016, and it would be for mobile/data services of 500 minutes and 500MB. And by 2018, 1000 minutes and 2GB would be allowed for the recipients/households of this program.
This is an exciting and great opportunity for anyone that has not been able to have Internet service. Having high speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but it’s a definite requirement, especially when it comes to education. Everyone deserves a chance to a fair chance of competition. And with this subsidy, households can have high speed Internet, without having any struggle to maintain it. They will be able to use this as a bundle with data and voice package, or use this Lifeline subsidy with broadband service only.