WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2016) — OCA, Asian Pacific American Advocates applauds Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for proposing Lifeline modernization rules that would increase internet access for low-income Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The Lifeline program was created 30 years ago to help ensure that qualified low-income household would be able to participate in the economy and live fulfilling lives by giving them a discount on telephone services. This eventually expanded to include the option for mobile service. Yesterday, FCC Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Clyburn issued a draft order that would expand the program to include broadband access.
“Last year, OCA submitted comments to the FCC advocating for the Lifeline program’s expansion and highlighting the barriers that Asian Pacific Americans have to full broadband adoption. We are pleased with the draft order and applaud Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Clyburn, and the FCC for taking the necessary steps to expand this pivotal program,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, OCA National President. “As our country continues to innovate, internet access has become a necessity for full inclusion in the fabric of American life. Expansion of the program to include broadband access will reduce the digital divide and ensure that low-income communities are not left behind as our country moves forward.”
“Within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, there is immense poverty in our midst. While the overall poverty rate of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is on par with the rest of the United States, Hmong and Cambodians experience more than double and close to triple poverty rate of the rest of the country. For these individuals, an internet connection is improperly priced as a luxury rather than a necessity,” continued Moe-Kaiser. “The proposal will ensure that the program has necessary oversight to reduce waste while increasing standards to provide quality service for low-income communities. We remain committed to ensuring that Asian Pacific Americans are represented in national conversations on technology and telecommunications and will continue to push for a final order that represents the best interests of our collective communities.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).