Some are making a big deal about a Federal Communications Commission decision not to allow nine firms to sell lifeline internet access service. The decision was made largely on procedural grounds. The nine firms are not accused of any shortcomings, but the lifeline program itself has been plagued by waste, fraud and abuse, the FCC says.
At the same time, lifeline service at what many would consider reasonable costs already are provided by all of the largest U.S. fixed network providers.
AT&T lifeline service, depending on a potential customer’s location, offers 10 megabits per second, for $10 per month; 5 megabits per second, for $10 per month; 3 megabits per second, for $5 per month; 1.5 megabits per second, for $5 per month or 768 kilobits per second, for $5 per month.
Lifeline internet access also is sold by Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Suddenlink, Frontier Communications and others. Generally speaking, those services sell for about $10 a month.