FCC competition seeks ways to encourage poor Americans to adopt broadband

The Federal Communications Commission announced April 30 that it will spend $25 million to launch a competition among eligible telecommunications providers to find ways to increase broadband adoption rates among low-income people.

The competition will be funded by savings from reform the FCC Lifeline program, the agency said. The funds will be used to launch pilot projects across the country to test best practices around issues of cost, digital literacy and relevancy, all of which are to be aimed at increasing broadband adoption.

According to an FCC public notice, telecommunications companies will be required to submit a detailed description of the experiment design and other experimental protocols used that are suitable for a replication study.

The FCC said it encourages eligible telecommunications companies to partner with existing broadband adoption programs as well as schools, libraries, state and local governments, and non-profits.