Legislation Introduced in House to Ensure WiFi Access for Lifeline Subscribers

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Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced the WiFi Capable Mobile Devices Act of 2017 (H.R. 1591) in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bill would require the FCC to ensure that providers of mobile broadband Internet access service that is supported through the Lifeline Assistance Program offer subscribers devices that can receive a WiFi signal and tether with other compatible hardware or devices.  The bill would also direct the FCC to incentivize these providers to work with schools and libraries to conduct outreach to those eligible for Lifeline assistance.  As part of the Universal Service Fund, the Lifeline program provides discounted phone and broadband service to qualifying low-income consumers.  The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.

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