FCC Grants NHMC’s Motion For Extension of Time to Comment on Proposed Changes to Lifeline

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a series of proposals that will transform Lifeline, the only federal program that provides a telecommunications subsidy to low-income Americans. Under the proposed changes, approximately 70% of Lifeline participants, who are already struggling with poverty, would have to find new telephone or broadband service providers in markets where choice is already scarce. Other drastic changes to the program include requiring a co-pay for the $9.25 per month subsidy and imposing eligibility limits that would require tracking participants for a lifetime. NHMC is particularly concerned about the far-reaching effects the proposals would have on newly eligible citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Fortunately, on January 23, 2018, the FCC granted NHMC’s motion for an extension, ensuring that the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have an opportunity to participate in the Lifeline proceeding. The new comment deadline is February 21, 2018. The new reply comment deadline is March 23, 2018. ]]>

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