Pai gets to work
Things are shaking up after the recent appointment of Ajit Pai to FCC chairman. Pai announced this week that Broadband Aid would no longer be available from nine companies across the US. These companies include Boomerang Wireless, FreedomPop, Kajeet, Northland Cable, Spot On, KonaTel, AR Designs, Liberty and Wabash Independent Networks.
Slash and burn
Tom Wheeler, the former FCC chairman and a Democrat, originally put the Broadband Aid in place. The federal assistance program provided a $9.25 per month subsidy for certain households in need. In addition, companies were allowed to sell broadband-only plans. The new ruling eliminates these options. According to the FCC, monthly bills will only increase by up to $9.25 per month. This may not sound detrimental, but will definitely add up for those who previously relied on this assistance.
Since his promotion, Pai has started abolishing some regulations under claims that over $400 million has been lost annually due to “wasteful and negligent acts.”
This particular cut was meant to reduce fraud, although none of the nine companies affected have ever been accused of misconduct.
On the other hand, Total Call Mobile, who just paid a $30 million settlement for claiming false reimbursements, has yet to experience any Broadband Aid cuts.
Just a taste
Based on other changes made so far, this is just a small glimpse into what lies ahead of Ajit Pai’s FCC run. This is a major change for so early on, and was not fully supported by the commission. However, it may be Pai’s intentions to shake things up a bit. For the American public, hopefully not every new change will come at a cost.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The implementations under Pai are leading towards his main goal: expanding broadband access.” quote=”The new implementations under Pai are leading towards his main goal: expanding broadband access.”]
Currently, the FCC is planning on increasing the fixed broadband networks into rural America.