Advocates worry FCC changes to Lifeline could hit Indian Country hard


Last updated 1/3/2018 at 3:22pm

John Westrock-Creative Commons

Changes to the Lifeline program for low-income residents being considered by the FCC are meant to stem waste and abuse of the program, but critics say the changes could hit Indian Country particularly hard.

WASHINGTON-The Federal Communications Commission is moving to rein in a low-cost telephone service for low-income customers that critics say will hit Indian Country hard if fully implemented.

But FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and other supporters say the reforms would close the digital divide between urban and rural Americans by ending "ongoing waste, fraud and abuse" in the program that serves more than 12 million people nationwide.

The Lifeline program, established under the Reagan administration, offers a subsidy of $9.25 a month to low-income residents, with residents of tribal areas eligible...

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