In what has to be considered great news for anyone that receives or would like to receive a free government phone, the FCC has voted to expand the Lifeline Program to include broadband Internet access.
Of course this program has had its fair share of detractors, some of which even refer to the program as “Obamaphone” since President Obama has been a huge supporter of ensuring that low income families have a means of communication. In fact the Republican Party members of the FCC wanted to put a cap on the program rather than expand it, but now due to this vote the FCC has adopted a budget of $2.25 billion for the program rather than the cap of $1.75 billion the Republicans proposed; thanks to this new budget, low income Americans will now have help getting broadband Internet on their home computers as well as mobile devices. These changes are set to go into effect by December 1st.
So why are the detractors so against low income families receiving free phones and Internet access? It all comes down to government spending, but in this day and age these people have to realize that the ability to communicate is a must for people to have a chance to move up in the world. Searching for jobs, searching for information, or even having a means to communicate with family in case of emergency are all viable reasons all Americans should have phone and Internet access. Of course fraud is another concern since some may try to take advantage of the program; to address this the program has created a body known as the “National Eligibility Verifier” that will make sure only eligible people will be enrolled
If you are in search of further information on how to receive free government phone and broadband Internet access or to check your eligibility for the program, visit lifelinesupport.org