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FCC, NARUC Team Up for Lifeline Education

The FCC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which has not always been on the same side of issues related to the Lifeline subsidy, are teaming up to raise awareness about the program.

Lifeline is the subsidy that helps eligible low-income consumers--on government food and health assistance, for example--get access to affordable broadband and phone service--up to $9.25 a month and up to $34.25 per month on tribal lands. 

Related: FCC Extends Lifeline Waivers 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many newly unemployed people who may not be aware that they are eligible for the subsidy. 

In a letter to NARUC members, FCC chairman Ajit Pai and NARUC president Brandon Presley, pointed to downloadable educational materials at

"We hope that your state commission can circulate this information as widely as possible to consumers and other Lifeline stakeholders," they wrote. 

They also pointed out that the FCC has temporarily eased documentation requirements so that people can get the service and then establish eligibility. 

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.