Saturday, May 30, 2015

Govt. Owning Your Internet: FCC Chair Plans To Expand "Obama Phone" Program To Internet


After seeing how well it's working with Govt. seizing your Healthcare to give you Free Stuff, . . .
Oh, how nice…
Via CNS News:
( – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced on Thursday that he intends to expand Lifeline, popularly known as the “Obama Phone” program, to the Internet. 
“I am circulating new proposals to “reboot” Lifeline for the Internet age,” Wheeler wrote in a blog post on the FCC’s Website. He said the reboot would include “establishing minimum standards of service for voice and broadband,” in addition to subsidies for low-income consumers. 
Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides a monthly subsidy of $9.95 on telephone service for those at or below 135 percent of the poverty line so they can connect to the nation’s communications networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family and their children’s schools, and call for help in an emergency. 
The money comes out of the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is funded through fees paid by consumers on telephone service. The fee is generally itemized on customers’ monthly telephone bills and is currently assessed at a rate of 16.1 percent of the bill. 
The size of the Lifeline program has doubled since 2008, increasing from $819 million to $1.6 billion in 2014. It reached a high of $2.19 billion in 2012 amid allegations of fraud and abuse.
The USF, meanwhile, has increased from $7.2 billion in 2008 to $10.34 billion in 2014, with Chairman Wheeler’s staff estimating a level of $12.1 billion in 2016. However, that estimate does not account for prospective Internet subsidies. 
In his post, Wheeler said, “30 percent of Americans still haven’t adopted broadband at home…. While more than 95 percent of households with incomes over $150,000 have broadband, only 48 percent of those making less than $25,000 have service at home.”
Thank You CNS and Mr Stone.

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