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One Step Closer to Broadband for Low-Income Kids

The FCC explores updating its Lifeline program to include Internet access.

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 health care 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 all our kids and our national economy can benefit.

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy 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 practices that harm kids, and expand access to and awareness of the child tax credit to lift children out of poverty.