RELEASE: NHMC Files Lifeline Reply Comments Illustrating How the Overwhelming Majority of Commenters Oppose the FCC’s Changes to the Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 23, 2018

CONTACT:
Clarissa Corona
213.718.0732
communications@nhmc.org

NHMC Files Lifeline Reply Comments Illustrating How the Overwhelming Majority of Commenters Oppose the FCC’s Changes to the Program

On March 23, 2018, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed reply comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) current Lifeline proceeding. NHMC noted that there is an overwhelming consensus in the record that the proposals to alter the purpose and scope of the Lifeline program under the pretext of stimulating investment for networks would only hurt poor and marginalized communities. If the FCC moves forward with these proposals, the result would destabilize the Lifeline program and cut off over 70 percent of current Lifeline subscribers.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition released the following statement from Carmen Scurato, vice president of policy and general counsel:

“There is an overwhelming consensus in the Lifeline record: the FCC must abandon its proposals to fundamentally alter the scope and purpose of the Lifeline program. The reality is that if these proposals are implemented, millions of individuals would be cut-off from the program without an alternative provider. The FCC must abandon its proposals or risk punishing low-income individuals and exacerbating the digital divide. To add insult to injury, the FCC is taking a stab at the hundreds of thousands of Lifeline subscribers in Puerto Rico who are still getting back on their feet following the unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Many people in Puerto Rico still do not have power in their homes and inexplicably, the FCC is putting forth proposals that would also deprive them of their only means of communication. These proposals are senseless and cruel, and will only result in harm to the millions who rely on Lifeline.”

NHMC filed comments on February 21, 2018 describing how the FCC’s sweeping proposals, if adopted, would gut Lifeline and harm Latinos, the poor, and other vulnerable communities. Lifeline remains the only federal program that offers a modest subsidy so that low-income families can gain access to essential voice and broadband services. In particular, NHMC highlighted how the FCC’s proposals would affect victims of the extraordinary 2017 hurricane season, including hundreds of thousands of families living in Puerto Rico connected to Lifeline.

To read more about NHMC’s work to ensure that low-income families are able to connect to vital communications through the Lifeline program, click here.

For interviews, please contact Clarissa Corona, at communications@nhmc.org or at 213.718.0732.

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is the media watchdog for the Latino community, ensuring that we are fairly and consistently represented in news and entertainment and that our voices are heard over the airwaves and on the internet.

We exist to challenge executives and influencers throughout the entertainment and news industry to eliminate barriers for Latinos to express themselves and be heard through every type of medium. NHMC works to bring decision-makers to the table to open new opportunities for Latinos to create, contribute and consume programming that is inclusive, free from bias and hate rhetoric, affordable and culturally relevant.

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