Ajit Pai quietly changes landscape for Lifeline subscribers before he departs
Fierce Wireless highlights FCC Chairman Pai's last minute changes to the Lifeline Minimum Standard, negatively impacting Lifeline Providers like TruConnect.
Lifeline providers say an FCC order that took effect December 1 will force them to stop offering free data service to qualified low-income customers. In an order adopted without a vote by the full Commission, Pai has instituted a 50% increase in the minimum amount of data Lifeline providers must offer. Subscribers will now get a minimum of 4.5 GB of data per month, an increase that will be welcomed by those Lifeline customers who can get it. But carriers say many cannot.
“Most people will either be cut off or receive some very diminished services, just voice,” said Matthew Johnson, co-CEO of Lifeline carrier TruConnect. Johnson said his company simply can’t afford to offer that much data for free, and the vast majority of his customers can’t pay. But as of December 1, subscribers outside California can no longer get data from TruConnect without making a payment.
To read the full article from Fierce Wireless, click here.