AG Tong Urges FCC to Protect Consumer Access to Affordable Communications Services
Attorney General Tong joins coalition of 17 attorneys general led by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring in asking the FCC to protect access to Lifeline by low-income consumers(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong has joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general, led by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect access to Lifeline for low-income consumers. Lifeline is an affordable communications service for low-income consumers that is offered by different telecom companies. The coalition is asking the FCC to make sure that any mergers or acquisitions between telecom companies protect millions of Americans’ access to affordable communications services.
“With so many Americans struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important today than ever that low-income consumers have access to affordable cell service,” Attorney General Tong said. “Access to communications services is vital in our society and many people in Connecticut, are using their cell phones to work, keep their businesses afloat and even school their children. I urge the FCC to protect this important service.”
In their letter, the coalition explains that, “Lifeline plays a vital role in our economy by providing essential communications services to millions of low-income Americans…[and] [c]onsidering the fundamental role that cellular telephones play in accessing modern society and the modern economy, it is imperative that Lifeline services be protected and maintained if this transaction is approved.”
The attorneys general are urging the FCC to “adopt specific conditions that protect the ability of Lifeline customers to use that vital service and protect customers in the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) marketplace.” Adding that, any mergers or acquisitions by various telecom companies could “[result] in a decrease in the number or quality of Lifeline offerings, that could be contrary to the public interest and could have an adverse impact on consumers and the communications industry.”
Joining Connecticut Attorney General Tong and Virginia Attorney General Herring in sending today’s letter are the attorneys general of Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.