Matthew Johnson: Digital Divide Solution is Right Here with Lifeline. Why is No One Paying Attention?
TruConnect Co-CEO Matthew Johnson breaks down the details of the underused Lifeline Program and solutions to get even more Americans connected.
Over the past year, COVID-19 has upended lives and livelihoods and revealed the troubling breadth and scope of the digital divide. Despite the positive turn the pandemic is taking, millions remain unemployed and struggle to pay rent and put food on the table. They cannot afford basic broadband to apply for jobs, participate in telemedicine, and complete schoolwork and are consequently trapped in a Catch-22 situation where the lack of internet keeps them locked in their current economic state.
The good news is that a solution already exists. Back in the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration conceived the federal Lifeline program to bring subsidized phones into every household. Since then, the program has evolved to include mobile and broadband services.
Today, 33.5 million low-income Americans are eligible for subsidized – even free – cell phones and internet access courtesy of Lifeline. The problem is that almost 80 percent are not getting them. Why?
Matthew Johnson is co-CEO, founder, and board member of TruConnect. Click here to read the full article on Broadand Breakfast.