Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for taking steps today to reform and improve the Lifeline program, which ensures the availability of affordable telephone and communication services to low-income Americans. Some of the changes the FCC announced today include making broadband services available to all low-income Americans and increasing digital literacy at libraries and schools.
"In November alone, more than 500,000 North Carolinians used Lifeline's telephone service to communicate with family, receive help during an emergency, and secure employment," said Butterfield. "I am pleased the FCC recognizes the importance of this program, and will work to modernize and expand its services to economically disadvantaged citizens."
Last week, Butterfield sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking the Commission to preserve and strengthen the program. The letter, co-authored by Congressmen Alcee Hastings (FL-23) and Ted Deutsch (FL-19), was issued in anticipation of today's FCC rulemaking hearing on the future of the program. In the letter, the Members urged Chairman Genachowski to curb fraud and modernize the program while keeping costs down for participants.