On April 16, 2019, National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) Policy Counsel, Daiquiri Ryan, joined the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) for a digital briefing on Lifeline. The discussion was a deep dive into why the Lifeline program matters for low-income communities and communities of color. Ms. Ryan detailed current threats to the Lifeline program’s viability. Other panelists included Erin Shields from CMJ and Aja Taylor from Bread for the City.
Lifeline is an assistance program designed to help low-income individuals afford essential communications services. It is the only federal program of its kind, and is currently under attack by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As the panelists discussed, in 2017, the FCC proposed a series of cuts to the program that would cause over 70 percent of current Lifeline subscribers to lose service, some permanently. Besides the devastating effects that would result from the 2017 proposals if approved, obstacles to enrollment and administrative issues have caused a sharp decline in subscribership. The full digital briefing can be viewed here.
NHMC has been a strong defender of Lifeline for nearly a decade. To learn more about our fight, visit NHMC.org/issues.