There are many of us who probably take our internet at home and on our phones for granted simply because we can afford to pay for them. However there are just as many out there who are scraping by on minimum wage and who prioritize their money on more essential items like food, electricity, rather than broadband.
However the FCC in an attempt to try and make internet more accessible by everyone, has recently voted to include (via Engadget) the subsidization of internet to the Lifeline program, a program which already offers subsidies on phones and prepaid plans. According to the FCC, less than half of homes that make less than $25,000 a year have access to the internet.
They also found that those with low-income tend to use their phones to go online, but even then 50% of them had to cancel or suspend their accounts as it too proved to be too expensive to maintain. So with the inclusion of internet in the Lifeline program, it will cost reduce subscription fees by as much as $9.25 a month for both internet and phone services.
Granted it’s not a particularly huge subsidy but we suppose every little bit helps. Internet providers will also no longer verify the eligibility of customers signing up for their service. Instead that task will be outsourced to a third-party instead, which the FCC hopes will lead to greater efficiency and also a reduction on fraud as well.