New FCC Lifeline Pilot Program to Study Effects of Discounts and Training on Broadband Adoption Rates

On June 6th, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois (or Broadband Illinois), the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Universal Telephone Assistance Corporation, and Connected Living led a webinar to inform Illinois broadband providers of the new Lifeline Pilot Program of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

Click here for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation from Wednesday’s webinar and the FCC Public Notice of this funding opportunity. 

The FCC has stated that the 18-month Lifeline Pilot Program will lay the basis for final criteria and funding for the full Lifeline Broadband program in the future.  Illinois carriers have an opportunity to get a head start in testing out what works best in increasing broadband adoption among low-income populations while deepening collaboration with digital literacy and community outreach partners.  

In the pilot program, the FCC will reimburse carriers for giving discounted rates to low-income families, and will score applications based on collaborations formed with experienced parties in Internet outreach and Digital Literacy training. 

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois is ready to help Eligible Telecommunication Carriers (ETC) with the application process, seed funding for the digital literacy and outreach components, and connections to digital literacy training programs.   

If you represent an ETC that is interested in moving forward with this unique opportunity, please contact us today, as the deadline for submission to the FCC is July 2nd.  

Anne Madonia-Hubbard, Program Manager, and Lacey Buss, Grants Administrator are spearheading this effort and can be reached at (217) 886-4030 or via email at or   

Tags: broadband adoption, FCC, Lifeline

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