The FCC under Wheeler has refocused Lifeline support on broadband. The new program, the Affordable Connectivity Program, offers a discount on internet service for eligible households.
Policy on Tethering
Tethering, or using your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your tablet or laptop, has become a popular way to boost data usage. But it’s not a good idea for Lifeline subscribers. The federal program’s rules prohibit low-income households from receiving more than one discount per household. Subscribers who break the rule could lose their Lifeline service. Advocates say more must be done to ensure the program meets today’s broadband demands. Some suggest better marketing and outreach raise awareness, while others call for Lifeline to evolve to allow more high-speed Internet access. And there’s a pressing need for the government to provide more funding, now set at just over $1 billion a year. While Lifeline’s goal is to help low-income households afford broadband, it hasn’t kept pace with rising data usage. Many subscribers have trouble balancing their minutes and data usage. They often run out of both when contacting medical providers and using the Internet at work.
Policy on Data Usage
A company Internet acceptable use policy is essential for a business to set expectations, reduce cybersecurity risks, and ensure that staff members are using the technology properly. It also sets boundaries that maximize productivity and minimizes risks. In addition to setting expectations, an internet policy outlines the monitoring process and disciplinary actions for employees who violate company guidelines. This can include a written warning, service suspension, or employment termination. The document can also protect the business from liability for employee conduct, especially if the activity is illegal.
Computer resources like network bandwidth and storage capacity have finite limits. All users are responsible for conserving these resources and not wasting or unfairly monopolizing them at the expense of others. This includes avoiding frivolous or unnecessary activities such as browsing unnecessarily large websites, downloading or uploading unreasonably large files, and streaming videos. To be eligible for the Lifeline program, such as Assist Wireless plan, a household may only have one wireless or landline phone and one home internet device per household. This excludes children, relatives, and non-family members who share the household income and expenses. This rule applies to all providers that offer the program, including those who provide devices to subscribers. Those who attempt to obtain more than one Lifeline phone or internet service will be subject to de-enrollment from the program.
Policy on Wi-Fi
In a society that is becoming increasingly digital, many low-income households need access to affordable Internet services. As a result, many have switched from the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP is a $30 monthly subsidy that can be combined with another discount offer to lower the cost of broadband and cellular data services for eligible participants. The EBB ended on December 31, and the ACP is now available for new and returning subscribers.
To prevent fraud and abuse of the ACP, Lifeline program administrators have implemented a Wi-Fi policy requiring all wireless devices connected to their network to be properly configured. This includes having the proper security settings, such as a strong password and a firewall that limits access to specific sites. In addition, any wireless transmissions of authentication information or data must be encrypted to protect privacy and ensure the security of sensitive data. The policy also prohibits using Wi-Fi to download obscene or defamatory content, and it requires all users to run up-to-date anti-virus software on their devices. It also bans using “Peer to Peer” file-sharing networks, which can expose devices to worms, viruses, packet sniffing, and other abuses by third-party bad actors. If a wireless device is found to be violating this policy, it will be deactivated and prohibited from re-connecting to the network.
Policy on Voice
The FCC paused the phase-out of voice-only Lifeline service and reduced the minimum monthly benefit for mobile broadband and fixed broadband services that don’t meet the minimum speed standard. These changes take effect on January 1, 2022, for all Lifeline subscribers, including those who receive bundled voice and internet services.
Voice behavior is generally defined as a pro-social communication activity where individuals share their opinions to improve the status quo in a social community. Previous research on voice behavior has focused on employee voice and customer voice, which are the voices expressed by employees inside enterprises and customers in cooperative relationships with enterprises, respectively. However, the scope of public voice is broader than these two kinds of voices. With the development of social media, the social status quo of society is more diverse than ever. People express their views on online issues, such as education, security, the environment, work-life balance, etc. In addition, they also share their opinions on social improvement via social networks. This expanded scope of voice behavior has led to the emergence of public voice channels, which have attracted extensive attention from the scientific community.