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FCC Tweaks Broadband Subsidy Process

The FCC has adjusted its Lifeline low-income broadband/phone subsidy program to help those potentially affected by the coronavirus and help slow its spread. It is the latest in FCC chairman Ajit Pai's Keep Americans Connected initiative. 

In an order released Tuesday (March 17), the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau waived the program's re-certification and re-verification requirements for 60 days, which has become something of a standard for the suspension of regular processes. 

It also suspended for those 60 days the requirement that participating carriers' representatives register with the Universal Service Fund, which implements the Lifeline subsidy. 

"I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity," said FCC chairman Ajit Pai.  

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.