Mar 10, 2016 07:30 AM EST

Broadband Internet Subsidy For Low Income Earners Proposed By FCC

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed lifeline tethering improvements - the two sides of the "digital divide." These could impact approximately 64 million Americans who would enjoy subsidized internet access.

These millions of U.S. citizens are on the wrong side of the divide, and the FCC wants these people not to be left behind.

Lifeline tethering was initially offered to the impoverished and the elderly in 1985. The scheme enabled this public sector to enjoy basic phone service at very low prices. At the end of 2014, Lifeline has subsidized phone services of up to $9.25 every month for over 12 million U.S. households.

The internet has become a vital part of everyday life for a majority of U.S. citizens. However it was not affordable to poor households. With this proposal, FCC will be able to finalize plans for a broadband internet subsidy that will enable the poor to afford internet connections.

The FCC has circulated a document on Tuesday that proposes the low-income households be provided with $9.25 per month subsidy for their internet connections, according to a report published on the New York Times.

A vote will be taken on this proposal at the end of March. The periodical however predicts that the proposal "is expected to be approved by the FCC's commissioners, who have a Democratic majority."

Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, wrote the NYT that only 48 percent of low income households earning less than $25,000 are able to afford home internet connection.

"We can recite statistics all we want, but we must never lose sight of the fact that what we're really talking about is people - unemployed workers who miss out on jobs that are only listed online, students who go to fast-food restaurants to use the Wi-Fi hotspots to do homework, veterans who are unable to apply for their hard-earned benefits, seniors who can't look up health information when they get sick," a company blog post stated on Tuesday.

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