NTCA Asks FCC for Waiver of Mandatory Broadband Service Speed Increase for Lifeline Subscribers

NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association filed a Petition for Waiver with the FCC on July 29, 2019, asking the FCC to refrain from requiring low-income consumers who subscribe to fixed broadband Internet service using Lifeline support to subscribe to a minimum of 20/3 Mbps service beginning December 1, 2019, in order to be able to continue to use their Lifeline support.  NTCA demonstrated that any increase in Internet speed is likely to be accompanied by an increase in the monthly subscription rate, which could cause some subscribers who are dependent upon the Lifeline discount to be forced to discontinue their service due to inability to afford the increased monthly rate.  Instead, NTCA asked the Commission to permit existing Lifeline subscribers to have the option of applying their Lifeline discount to either their existing service level as of December 1, 2019, or to an increased level that is at or above 20/3 Mbps.