State Utility Leaders Urge FCC To Halt Lifeline Data Rules

Law360 (September 15, 2020, 8:24 PM EDT) -- The Federal Communications Commission is on a path that will gut participation in its Lifeline low-income phone and broadband subsidy program by the end of the year if it doesn't suspend new benchmarks that force consumers to favor data-heavy mobile plans, several state utility commissioners said Tuesday.

During a virtual news conference, commissioners for the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri and Mississippi as well as Maine's public advocate said raising the standards for the services covered under the program guidelines by December will needlessly slash participation in the program, as many low-income participants prefer cheaper and more basic voice services.

"The message...

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