FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Mike O’Rielly and Brendan Carr are ready to roll back another web-related initiative. The Lifeline program. The Lifeline program provides affordable phone and internet-access options for millions of low-income families, that includes the elderly, people with disabilities, people living on tribal lands, veterans, people of color, and unhoused people. All of which need the Lifeline program. There’s no good reason I could find to justify moving forward with such a plan.
The reference to Uriah Heep (not the rock group) in the title seemed appropriate. Uriah Heep was a character in Charles Dicken’s novel, “David Copperfield”. “He possessed the characteristics of grasping manipulation and insincerity with his main objective being greed.” In light of the recent FCC Net Neutrality decision and this current initiative to remove the Lifeline program, Uriah Heep seemed like a good comparison to today’s FCC.
The internet is a utility that should be made available to all Americans. I would think that keeping all of our children connected to education resources, or the elderly connected with healthcare providers would be something our country can and should do.
The FCC voted along party lines to move forward with its plan to dismantle the Lifeline program. This rollback would take away the affordable phone and internet access to poor people. This action will disproportionately impact people of color, seniors, veterans, and those with disabilities.
Once again the FCC has ignored bipartisan objections from the Senate and House leaders. The leaders have heard from concerned constituents that this plan will make it difficult for the poor to search for jobs, advance their education, meet their basic needs, and stay informed.
No matter how the FCC frames this, moving forward on this proposal is heartless. The Lifeline program provides a modest $9.25 monthly subsidy to most recipients so that millions of poor people can connect to communication services.
When Ajit Pai was confirmed as FCC chairman, he claimed that bridging the digital divide would be a top priority. Eliminating or gutting the Lifeline program will do the exact opposite. Everyone needs access to the vital communications services this country offers. If a family or senior or disabled person’s income is below a set threshold, these subsidies need to be in place to provide this vital service to all Americans.
If you don’t agree with the FCC’s plan to roll back Lifeline, you can tell the FCC to drop its plan and leave Lifeline alone.
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The @FCC has voted along party lines to dismantle #Lifeline. This proposal would rob poor people of affordable phone and internet access. Tell @AjitPaiFCC @mikeofcc @BrendanCarrFCC to halt this heartless plan. http://bit.ly/2Bg2B0G via @freepress