Death by a Thousand Cuts: The FCC’s Dangerous Proposal to Kill the Lifeline Program and Hurt Low-Income Americans


The Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program is the only federal program specifically designed to address the biggest cause of America’s digital divide: the high cost of phone and internet service. The program provides qualifying low-income households a $9.25 monthly subsidy to purchase phone and internet service, which helps millions of low-income military veterans, students, and health care recipients.

Despite Lifeline’s success in connecting millions of Americans to vital services, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed a series of draconian reforms that would all but destroy the program. The proposal drew widespread opposition from consumers, industry, and public interest advocates, but it nonetheless remains pending before the agency, and the FCC could enact some or all of these proposals in the near future.

Please join us for a panel discussion to learn more about what’s in the FCC’s proposal and why we must protect the Lifeline program. Lunch will be served.


Olivia Wein
Staff Attorney, National Consumer Law Center

Yosef Getachew, @ygetachew2
Director of Media and Democracy Program, Common Cause

John Heitmann
Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Chris Shipley
Attorney and Policy Adviser, INCOMPAS


Sarah Morris, @sarmorris
Deputy Director, New America’s Open Technology Institute

Follow the conversation online using #SaveLifeline and following @OTI.