Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Connectivity Counts FCC Makes Internet Subsidy a Welfare Benefit

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Connectivity Counts FCC Makes Internet Subsidy a Welfare Benefit

Article excerpt

In a 3-2 vote last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to allow an estimated 40 million Americans on food stamps, Medicaid and other federal assistance to register for subsidies to put toward Internet service. For the first time, low-income Americans can qualify for a credit worth $9.25 a month. That money can be applied to broadband service as part of a voice bundle on cellular, fixed networks or a standalone phone with no voice plan.

This is good news for the estimated 13 million people eligible for Lifeline who currently have no Internet service. With more educational courses and jobs requiring applicants to apply online, poor people are at an added disadvantage if they don't have access to the Internet. As much as it may seem to some to be a useless extravagance, Internet service is a basic utility that is as necessary as water and electricity. …

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