Common sense CEO and founder Jim Steyer issued the following comment after the Federal Communications Commission voted today to proceed with its critical effort to reform and modernize the Lifeline low-income phone service to allow it to also provide affordable access to broadband Internet service. Expanding lifeline is a top priority for Common Sense Kids Action to help kids do their homework and parents find good jobs.
“Common Sense Kids Action applauds the FCC for moving ahead with examining the modernization of our 30-year old low-income phone program in a way that would provide affordable high-speed Internet to millions of American homes that do not have access to it today.
"America’s digital divide and homework gap are both unfair and unhealthy. The evidence is overwhelming that high-speed Internet access is good for our economy, our education, and our health. Studies show that Gross Domestic Product and household incomes rise with greater Internet penetration, the Internet is increasingly required for homework and for staying connected with schools, and the Internet can help reduce healthcare costs through telemedicine and greater access to personal health information.
“President Ronald Reagan established the FCC’s Lifeline program in 1985 to ensure low-income homes had access to essential telephone service. President George W. Bush expanded the program to ensure it covered cellular service. Now, with 30 percent of American homes lacking high-speed Internet access, the FCC is absolutely right to explore how to improve this program to help close the gap between the digital haves and have-nots so that all of our kids and our national economy can benefit.”
For more information on Lifeline and broadband and Common Sense Kids Action, click here.