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Kids Action Submits Official Comments to FCC on Policy for Home Broadband

In this digital age, kids need high-speed internet to succeed. That's why we support FCC's plan to modernize the Lifeline program.

Common Sense Kids Action submitted formal comments on Monday, August 31, 2015, to the Federal Communications Commission regarding its plan to help low-income households connect to high-speed Internet. The FCC plans to use the existing low-income telephone service known as Lifeline to offer an option for home broadband.

This is one step we can take now to help ensure all kids have greater opportunity to succeed in school. As you might know, one of Kids Action's top priorities is to make sure all kids, regardless of background or ZIP code, have the opportunity to thrive academically. Evidence shows that when kids don't have broadband Internet at home, they get caught in what is known as the "homework gap." These students can't complete homework as easily as their peers who have broadband at home, making school achievement even more difficult.

You can read our full comments to the FCC, but here are a few highlights:

  1. Modernizing the Lifeline program will help ensure low-income students have the same access to educational tools as their wealthier peers, which is critical to minimizing the homework gap.
  2. Including broadband in the Lifeline program will help low-income households improve their financial footing and strengthen the overall economy.
  3. A minimum broadband speed standard needs to be set to ensure this program actually works to close the homework gap.
  4. The responsibility for determining eligibility for the Lifeline program should fall on a neutral third party -- not on telecommunication companies.
  5. Modernizing the program will be most effective if it's coupled with an education program for eligible users and enrollees.

Read our comments here, and join Common Sense Kids Action now if you want to support efforts to expand broadband to the five million homes with school-age kids who still don't have high-speed Internet.

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy and public policy operations. He brings nearly three decades of service on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Danny first joined Common Sense in 2015 and returned again in 2020, and has led efforts to close the digital divide, protect children's online data privacy, hold tech companies accountable for online harms to kids and teens, and expand access to programs that lift children out of poverty, like the expanded Child Tax Credit. In his spare time, he likes cook dinner and play percussion.