Solutions: Inclusion – Low-Cost Services

Promote Low-Cost Broadband Service Offerings for Vulnerable Populations

GOAL: Overcome the barrier to broadband adoption related to cost.

DESCRIPTION: Currently, several national and a few local providers offer special low-cost services for vulnerable populations, older adults and low-income families with children.

Furthermore, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expanding its Lifeline program to allow Lifeline monthly subsidy to be applied to purchases of broadband service (as of December 2, 2016).

Administered by the FCC, the Lifeline program provides a $9.25 per month subsidy for the purchase of voice telephone service, including mobile, and broadband (as of December 2, 2016) by low-income households.  This move would make low-cost service a reality for Lifeline participants.

ACTIONS:

Research low-cost offering in the community. Visit http://everyoneon.org/ to find local low-cost, high-speed Internet offers by ZIP code or contact local providers listed in this plan to determine their offerings.

Schedule community meetings (or summits) to discuss the opportunity to serve non-adopters who are experiencing a cost barrier to adoption.

Advertise low-cost offerings via government and other community organizations websites via the digital equity initiative.

RESPONSIBLE PARTIES:

Non-profit organizations; Libraries and schools; Parent-Teacher Organizations; Broadband providers with low-cost programs; Senior centers; Social service providers; Local and county government.

RESOURCES:

Use the FCC’s Cost Comparability tool to check the reasonability of local broadband prices: http://fcc.us/2d6QBY5.

Universal Service Administrative Company: http://www.lifelinesupport.org/ls/changes-to-lifeline.aspx.

Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers: https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers.

Carrier-based programs Include:

Access from AT&T: https://www.att.com/shop/Internet/access/#/

Spectrum Internet Assist (Charter): https://www.spectrum.com/browse/content/spectrum-Internet-assist

Comcast Internet Essentials: https://www.Internetessentials.com/

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