WASHINGTON—Following the FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking to reform the Lifeline benefit program, Doug Brake, telecom policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), released the following statement:
ITIF has long supported providing subsidies to help low-income Americans afford the communications services that are increasingly essential for modern life. Consumers should be free to choose the technology that best suits their needs, and modernizing the Lifeline program for the broadband era, giving recipients more choice and flexibility, is undoubtedly due. ITIF welcomes the opportunity to comment on the proposals now circulating at the FCC and assist in finding appropriate methods to control growth of the program without limiting participants’ choice. Bringing Lifeline into the 21st century by adding support for broadband, coupled with common-sense reforms around eligibility administration and program oversight, should be change everyone supports. Cutting waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, while extending a key component of universal service makes this is a win for both sides of the aisle.