Note: The ability for low income consumers to have access to high speed Internet has the potential to increase access to online learning in higher education contexts.
A federal program that subsidizes phone service for low-income consumers would be overhauled to help expand access to high-speed Internet under a proposal Thursday by the head of the Federal Communications Commission.
Households would have the choice of using the monthly $9.25 Lifeline subsidy to pay for a broadband connection or a phone line, according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan.
“Broadband is key to Lifeline’s future,” he said in a blog post.
High-speed Internet has become an essential service available in 95% of households with annual incomes of more than $150,000, Wheeler said.