It’s official: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on June 18 to expand its Lifeline service program to include broadband Internet for low-income individuals.

Now, through the Lifeline program, low-income citizens across the U.S. will have access to affordable Internet in addition to telephone service. The program is designed to ensure that low-income subscribers have the ability to perform critical functions like finding jobs, communicating with medical providers and utilizing emergency services. The addition of subsidized Internet aligns with the Obama administration’s policy of ensuring that all Americans have access to reliable and affordable communications technologies. In today’s digitized world, the Internet is every bit as critical as landline telephone service for communications.

After the recent vote, Internet service providers (ISPs) may now have to provide government-subsidized standard-speed service to those who are eligible.

As beneficial as this is for those in need, the ruling will also prove profitable for ISPs. Now that more people will have access to Internet service through the Lifeline connectivity program, more people will be utilizing the network. This means that customers will be using more data on a monthly basis, which will translate directly into profits for Internet providers.

Of course, with more business comes the need for better subscriber management technologies. Through a cloud-based subscriber management service, ISPs can offer real-time billing and advanced customer service offerings. Click here to learn more about how Great Lakes Data Systems can help with this process.