FCC Rejigs Phone Subsidy Program for the Poor

Federation of Communications Commission has decided to work on reforming and modernising a "Lifeline" service which will facilitate low-income families to stay connected to their friends and other family members, jobs as well as US emergency services 911 via telephone as well as broadband.

Yesterday, FCC approved a complete overhaul of their universal service program that is providing help to millions of low income families in America to afford telephone since the last twenty five years.

The latest changes will "eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, saving up to $2 billion over 3 year" according to the commission.

One important change will be creation of National Lifeline Accountability Database. This will stop users from creating more than one accounts on different carriers reported Slash Gear. Secondly, eligiblity databases will be setup through the use of government data sources. This creation of database will be followed by automated verification for carriers as well as consumers.

However, the largest and most significant change is expansion of Lifeline for adopting the goal of making broadband available to low income families.

This program by FCC was initiated in the year 1985 and back at that time 80 per cent low income families had landline phone service and last year this rate increased to 92 per cent.