Tom Wheeler, head of the FCC, is backing a new proposal that would help individuals with low incomes to pay for broadband connections. Based on the Reagan-era program Lifeline, which subsidized telephone landline service, the new program will also include various new anti-fraud measures to offset user swindling and lack of oversight that plagued similar programs in the past.
Some details remain hazy, however. How the program will be funded has still not been nailed down, as the FCC at first intended to impose new broadband taxes, but backed down due to the already high cost consumers pay for broadband. The FCC is also looking at other ways to help the poor get online, including creating more market competition by raising the standard definition of broadband and getting rid of protectionist state laws.