FCC Extends Lifeline Waivers to Keep Americans Connected





Earlier this week, 15 members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee sent a letter to the FCC, asking for unlimited voice calling and data coverage for subsidized Lifeline plan customers to be continued throughout the duration of the pandemic.

The FCC has responded by extending Lifeline waivers.

“In light of the ongoing pandemic, we find good cause to extend, on our own motion, our prior waivers of certain Lifeline program rules governing re-certification, re-verification, general de-enrollment, subscriber usage, income documentation, and documentation requirements for subscribers residing in rural areas on Tribal lands,” the FCC said.  

The Lifeline program provides qualifying low-income consumers discounts on voice or broadband Internet access service to help ensure that all Americans have access to affordable communications service.

 As part of the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge, program rules were waived. The FCC guaranteed that those who were enrolled in the Lifeline Program would not be involuntarily removed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Telemedicine, telework, and online learning continue to be necessary social distancing measures, which has emphasized the importance of access to affordable communications services for low-income consumers,” the FCC said in its decision to extend those waivers.

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