By: Michael J. Scurato, Policy Counsel
Last week, NHMC filed reply comments urging the FCC to update a few of their programs that help low-income people afford telephone service. It is NHMC’s hope that the FCC’s Lifeline and Link Up programs cover the people that need them, become easier for the eligible people to apply for, and take into account the evolving landscape of people’s personal communication services, including the rise of cell phones.
For these reasons, last week’s reply comments asked the FCC to reconsider a proposal that would limit these assistance programs to one applicant per address and, instead, expand the benefit to one service per eligible adult. These programs originated in a time when one telephone landline per address was the norm. However, with ownership of mobile phones skyrocketing, it is now more likely that many family members at an address would need their own wireless service in order to stay connected. Not only are people using mobile phones more than ever before, but they are using a number of different features for increasingly important reasons. In our reply comments, we highlighted some of the impressive examples of democratic mobilization that exist in the Latino community in particular.
NHMC has long supported Lifeline and Link Up, as the programs do a great deal of good in many communities. We are happy that the FCC is asking the important questions required to usher these services into the 21st century.
To read our Reply Comments, click here.