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News Update

Low-income families could see internet rates rise

Low-income families in California who receive discounted internet service may see their rates raise if a new rule from the California Public Utilities Commission goes into effect, according to reporting from CalMatters.

Households have been able to stack state and federal subsidies from the Lifeline program to buy internet and phone services during the pandemic, but under the new rule, they could lose their state discounts.

Low-income California households who qualify for federal help to pay for phone and internet service under would only be able to stack two of the discounts for a total of $39.25 a month, according to CalMatters.

Lifeline customers were worried their families could suffer after the change.

“My kids need phones and tablets to keep up in school and complete their homework,” Kristin Morris of Mission Viejo wrote. “By limiting the service plans available to low-income folks — you are making the problem worse for us, not better.”

About 1.7 million residents are enrolled in California’s Lifeline program.