December 4, 2019
Partner John Heitmann
was quoted in the Communications Daily
article “Recent FCC Moves Raise Concerns Among Lifeline Advocates.” In recent news concerning the affordability of Lifeline, the FCC last week 3-2 denied a pause on a $2 monthly decrease in support for voice-only, while raising by 50 percent a monthly minimum for broadband to 3 GB. The previous week, the agency issued a 3-2 order that would curb fraud and abuse, and a Further NPRM asks whether to ban free handsets with new signups.
Lifeline fans back free handsets, as “low-income consumers often don't have cash flow, checkbooks or credit cards, and sometimes not even cash on a monthly basis,” said John, who represents the National Lifeline Association (NaLA), “Any time you impose a price increase, it is counter to the goal of affordability." He said there's an advantage to giving someone a phone in person so providers' agents have the opportunity to train them how to use the device.
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