Seeking to Narrow the Digital Divide: Lifeline Support for Broadband

    View Authors May 2016

    Nearly a full month after a contentious March 31, 2016 open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission released its much-anticipated Lifeline Modernization Order on April 27. With this Order, the FCC will now allow the US$9.25 per month Lifeline subsidy to be used to lower the cost of broadband Internet access for eligible low income Americans, with a Lifeline budget target of $2.25 billion per year.

    In this alert, we explain the basics of the Lifeline program, as well as the changes to the program resulting from the Commission’s recent action. These changes will be of interest to fixed and mobile broadband providers as well as other stakeholders (e.g., community anchor institutions) wanting to understand the rules and procedures for qualifying for Lifeline support.