Mobile Citizen recently joined over 30 organizations representing a variety of sectors including civil rights, consumer, education, libraries and healthcare interests in signing on to a motion filed by the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) coalition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) to extend the comment period for its rulemaking focused on imposing an additional cap on the Universal Serice Fund.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, Mobile Citizen has serious concerns about this proposal. This Universal Service Fund includes important programs that enable low-income individuals to afford broadband internet access that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
In a statement released earlier this month, Voqal’s Mark Colwell explained the problems such a cap could pose for low-income individuals:
“A USF cap would constrain the Commission’s ability to achieve its statutory mandate of ensuring the rapid deployment of telecommunications services to all Americans. Lower-income Americans, rural Americans, libraries, hospitals and students all rely on USF programs for the vital broadband access they need to compete in the global economy and participate in our democracy.”
As strong believers that true social equity requires access to the information and tools provided by the internet, Mobile Citizen strongly urges the FCC to take the time to ensure everyone’s voice is heard on this issue.
You can read the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking here.