Poor Americans to get $9-per-month subsidy for 10Mbps Internet connections

The FCC will vote on a proposal to give people in low-income groups a subsidy for broadband.

By - March 9, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
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The USA’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to give broadband subsidies to low-income households, Ars Technica reported.

Low-income Americans will get $9.25 (R143) per month to buy a home broadband connection or cellular data.

If the vote passes, it will replace the current Lifeline programme which has provided telephone subsidies since 1985.

The FCC said the subsidy would almost cover the cost of services targeted at poor Americans, such as 10Mbps services that cost $9.95 per month.

To qualify for the Lifeline programme, home Internet service providers will have to offer speeds of at least 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload, with a minimum cap of 150GB per month.

The 10Mbps/1Mbps standard is lower than the FCC’s definition of broadband, which is set at 25Mbps/3Mbps.

Mobile providers will have to offer at least 500MB of data per month at 3G speeds initially, and then at least 2GB per month by the end of 2018.

Subsidised mobile voice services will have to include unlimited minutes from 1 December 2016.

The FCC is scheduled to vote on the plan on 31 March.

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