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FCC Refuses to Back Down From Plan to Strip Phone and Internet Subsidies for American Indians

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission under Ajit Pai voted to make it harder for American Indians to receive subsidies for broadband internet service. Despite legal challenges, the commission decided this week not to reverse its position, opting instead to continue to deny expanded assistance for phone and internet access.

The original 3-2 vote back in November 2017 was part of the FCC’s attempt to scale back its Lifeline program, which provides subsidies to cover the cost of phone and internet. The decision stripped Tribal residents who live in urban areas of a $25 subsidy that was made available to them—a significant bump from the standard $9.25 offered to most other populations.


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