More than a Lifeline: Low-Income Households’ Telecommunications Preferences

65 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2009

See all articles by Janice Alane Hauge

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas

Eric P. Chiang

Florida Atlantic University

Mark A Jamison

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center

Date Written: April 4, 2008

Abstract

Florida’s Lifeline program is part of a nationwide program to increase the availability of telecommunications services to low-income households by providing a credit to monthly recurring charges for local telephone service. In Florida, households can receive up to a $13.50 discount on their monthly local phone bills. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Lifeline program in the belief that low-income households find landline local telephone service to be essential for their social and economic livelihoods, and that a discount on the price for landline telephone service was needed to make the service affordable. There is mounting evidence that these assumptions do not hold true today. In 2005, about 90 percent of low-income households in Florida subscribed to landline telephone service even though only about 13 percent of the households eligible for Lifeline took the discount. Furthermore, about half of the low-income households were purchasing cellular phone service. We undertake this study to better understand low-income households’ choices with respect to communications services and participation in Lifeline. We employ surveys and statistical analyses to study Floridians’ participation in Lifeline and their choices for communications services.

Suggested Citation

Hauge, Janice Alane and Chiang, Eric P. and Jamison, Mark A., More than a Lifeline: Low-Income Households’ Telecommunications Preferences (April 4, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1384382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1384382

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States
940-565-4544 (Phone)

Eric P. Chiang

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States

Mark A. Jamison (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center ( email )

PO Box 117142
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
352-392-6148 (Phone)
352-392-7796 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://warrington.ufl.edu/purc/facultyinfo.asp?WEBID=1217

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