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CWA: FCC Action to Modernize Lifeline is First Step to Closing the Digital Divide

Washington, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) today commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for voting to modernize the Lifeline program by including broadband access.  Since the start of our Speed Matters program nine years ago, CWA has pushed for the expansion of the Lifeline program to help bring about digital equality and support high-speed Internet service for all.

Broadband is essential to full participation by all Americans in today’s economy and society. The activities of daily life increasingly require Internet access – job applications are online, students need home broadband to do their homework, and families are staying connected through social media,.

Too many families, however, continue to face real economic barriers to broadband adoption. While 92 percent of households with incomes over $100,000 have broadband service, only 47 percent of households with incomes below $25,000 subscribe to broadband.

“This subsidy is an important step toward ensuring that all Americans can share in the benefits that broadband access provides,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “We applaud the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel in moving forward to help close the digital divide. CWA will continue to work for universal broadband access for all.”

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