According to Issa Asad, CEO of Q Link Wireless in Dania Florida, an approved provider of the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program, the future Lifeline may include broadband for low-income families. The current Lifeline program, available through companies such as Q Link, provides free or discounted cell phone service to families who meet certain eligibility criteria.
Asad thinks expanding it to include broadband would be an excellent addition for participants. “Families who participate in the Lifeline program, already benefit immensely from access to phone service,” commented Asad. “Unfortunately, in this day and age, internet access is crucial. Especially for families with school-aged children.”
The families that currently benefit from the Lifeline program include homes with single parents, disabled individuals, and low-income senior citizens. While they can now meet all of their daily telephone communication needs, Asad says these families would also benefit by receiving broadband service:
- Improved Communication with Teachers: Many schools use the internet for communication purposes, putting families without internet access at a distinct disadvantage. Teachers have websites listing lesson plans and homework assignments, students may be asked to conduct research, view videos, or even participate in online classes. Parents and teachers often communicate via e-mail regarding students’ progress. Living without broadband makes it especially hard for single parents who are trying to find or keep a job while ensuring that their children receive a quality education.
- Better Scheduling: Any family knows that there are many activities which occur on a daily basis. Much of this scheduling has been moved online. This is especially true in the medical world, where doctors, healthcare specialists, blood labs and pharmacies routinely take advantage of technology to schedule appointments and provide access to test results. Parents without access to technology are required to call or even visit medical offices to complete these tasks, which can be difficult, if not impossible.
- Broader Exposure to the Outside World: While a great deal of the formal education process is now conducted online, broadband access also provides children with the opportunity to explore the world on their own. Although they might be economically disadvantaged, the internet sees no income barriers. Children in low-income or single parent households can easily explore topics such as art, music, geography and history on their own. They can travel to places they might not otherwise have a chance to visit, learn about exotic animals from around the globe, and access educational programming they might not otherwise receive.
Asad feels that broadband access is crucial for success for any child today, but especially for those in homes that do not have access to outside influences. The internet can open up the world for these children, help them learn more about it, visibly demonstrate that there is more to the world than they see with their own eyes, and inspire them to reach out and aspire to more.
Lifeline provides a vital communications link for people with a disability, senior citizens, and any low-income or single-parent household. Parents interested in learning more about how broadband could improve the Lifeline program can visit the Q Link Wireless website or call Q Link Wireless out of Dania, Florida, toll-free at 1-855-754-6543. “Like” the Facebook page to receive ongoing updates on the Lifeline Assistance Program.
Above content provided by Issa Asad CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in Dania, Florida.