Connect Your Community has joined with two hundred other organizations in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, urging him to “reject the… (FCC’s) new proposals that will debilitate the Lifeline program, the only federal program targeted at assisting low-income households with the cost of broadband and telephone service”.
The joint letter, coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and signed by 201 religious, civil rights, social service, technology and community organizations throughout the U.S., was sent to Pai today. CYC partners Digital C and Connected Insights, as well as the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, are also signers. (NDIA has submitted its own formal comments opposing the FCC proposals.)
You can download a copy of our letter to Chairman Pai here.
The FCC’s “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” on Lifeline, aimed at dismantling much of the “Lifeline broadband” structure created by the agency in 2016 under Pai’s predecessor Thomas Wheeler, is on track for action as early as April or May.
and ask your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to sign it too!
At the top of the sidebar to the right, there’s a link to an online petition being circulated by our friends at Free Press. Please take a minute, right now, to add your name.
The Trump FCC led by Chairman Ajit Pai is now accepting comments on a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (NPRM) that they call Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers. Of course the proposed new rules, if adopted, would accomplish the exact opposite of that title’s promise. They would reverse most of the “Lifeline broadband” reforms adopted by the old FCC leadership in 2016, reduce the Lifeline program’s funding, impose new costs and eligibility limits on low income households seeking to use the program, and disrupt existing Lifeline services (including broadband access) for at least two-thirds of current customers by banning their “non-facilities bases” providers from the program.
The text accompanying the Free Press’ petition explains all this in greater detail, so read it there. You can also learn more from this post at the National Digital Inclusion blog. We won’t repeat it all here.
Disconnecting 325,000 Ohio households
But Ohioans should be aware of this: More than 300,000 households in Ohio could lose their current Lifeline connections if Pai’s plan goes forward. Read more
Chris Mitchell of MuniNetworks.org interviews CYC’s Bill Callahan and Angela Siefer of NDIA about AT&T’s digital redlining of low income Cleveland neighborhoods:
“Wrestling With Redlining in Cleveland, Lessons For All”