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Proposed Rules to Modernize Lifeline Program for Affordable Broadband to Low-Income Americans

March 11, 2016

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, working closely with fellow Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, is circulating for consideration by the full Commission an Order to modernize the FCC’s Lifeline program to efficiently and effectively meet a critical 21st Century need: making broadband more affordable for low-income consumers.

Congress directed the FCC to ensure that all Americans have access to advanced telecommunications and information services. Since 1985, Lifeline subsidies have helped make phone service affordable for low-income Americans.

Now, Lifeline must evolve to meet today’s most pressing communications need: access to broadband.

With affordability still the largest single barrier to broadband adoption in low-income households, the draft Order would reboot Lifeline to enable all Americans to share in the opportunities broadband connectivity provides, while building on recent reforms to the program. The proposed Order will be voted on by the full Commission at the March 31 Open Meeting.

To view a blog post on the proposed rules from Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn, click here. To view a fact sheet on the proposed rules, click here.

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