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The FCC should expand Lifeline services beyond basic telephone service to broadband service.

Lifeline is a federally mandated government program that offers low-income households a discount on their monthly local telephone bill for basic telephone service. In a world where many households have the ability to use broadband for voice services (VOIP), it is anachronistic for this program not to allow consumers to use the subsidy for either traditional voice service (wired or wireless) or broadband. Congress and the FCC should reform the program by allowing Lifeline recipients to use the support for whatever service they choose: plain old telephone service (POTS), mobile telephony, or broadband.