I saw in a blog post today by the FCC Chairman Tom wheeler that the FCC is planning on extending the Lifeline program to give low-income families access to broadband internet service. While some people don’t have access to broadband internet service at all, most don’t have broadband internet service because the price is too high.
Soon the FCC is going to be voting on a plan to give low-income Americans access to broadband internet service for under $10.
In the past couple of years, the argument has been made about whether or not the internet service that people get it is considered a utility or just a luxury. I would argue that as soon as the government started using the internet service to host government funded services online, internet service becomes a utility at that point.
Everything from education to unemployment benefits is being processed through the internet on government websites. It makes perfect sense that at some point internet service is no longer considered a luxury item, but more of I must have service.
Comcast and some other Internet service providers have offered basic internet service to low-income families too, but Comcast doesn’t openly push that the service is available to low-income families. and there are some restrictions on be able to apply for this low-income broadband service; as it’s restricted to low-income families, not individuals.
Some of the latest statistics show that almost 64 million Americans don’t have access to internet service, this includes broadband or dial-up service.
Traditionally, phone companies would charge a surcharge that would go into a universal fund that would help pay for low-income families to have telephone service, but that seems to be moving now to providing low-income families internet service.
I would suspect that the internet service that would be provided for low-income families would not be Intended for services like Netflix on a regular basis, but I’m sure I could probably be used that way.
By the FCC extending support for broadband internet service through the Lifeline program. It’s only going to provide for basic broadband internet service. Limiting those customers to a maximum of 150 gigabytes per month. So you’re not going to see customers using the Lifeline program using Netflix on a regular basis.
Personally, I’m glad to see that the FCC is coming around to the idea that Internet service is required service, just as phone service was. more people are using the internet to access all kinds of services, everything for medical, banking and ordering pizza. At the same time, restricting access to the Internet for low-income families, especially kids, it hurts their chances at advancement in education and in the future.
What do you think about it?