Tech Policy

The Joint Center Signs Emergency Lifeline Letter Calling For the FCC to Support Emergency Increases in the Lifeline Benefit in Response to the COVID-19

The Joint Center joined over 200 organizations in signing a letter requesting the Federal Communications Commission to provide emergency support for the Lifeline program.

As the letter states, “Lifeline is the only existing program designed to help low-income consumers afford essential communications services. The program design can quickly be ramped up to provide additional services and benefits to help households acting in accordance with national directives to maintain social distance while also receiving health care, continuing work, participating in distance learning and providing mutual aid and support.” In the letter, the Joint Center and other organizations ask for the FCC to:

  • Immediately prohibit disconnections of Lifeline consumers;
  • Within no more than one week, require Lifeline providers to offer unlimited voice minutes and unlimited texting and commensurate voice-only financial support; and
  • Within no more than 21 days, create an emergency Lifeline broadband benefit.

Read the full letter here.