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FCC Proposes Nearly $44 Million in Fines Against 3 Lifeline Providers

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Released: December 11, 2013

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

December 11, 2013
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
E-mail: mark.wigfield@fcc.gov

FCC PROPOSES NEARLY $44 MILLION IN FINES AGAINST 3 LIFELINE PROVIDERS

Brings Total Proposed Lifeline Fines to $90 Million in Past Three Months
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has proposed nearly $44 million in fines
against three companies that appear to have violated FCC rules protecting its Lifeline program against
waste, fraud and abuse. Added to the eight Lifeline enforcement actions brought by the FCC in the past
90 days, these three fines bring the total amount proposed to $90 million over that period.
The actions flow directly from the FCC’s comprehensive reforms to the Lifeline program last year.
Those reforms provided clear, enforceable rules to prevent and combat waste, fraud and abuse, and
empower the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to crack down on violations.
To help low-income consumers afford phone service, Lifeline provides a discount on service, channeled
through providers. However, to focus the program on those who truly need it, the FCC’s rules limit
Lifeline subscriptions to one per household. Carriers are expressly barred from seeking Lifeline support
for duplicative accounts.
The Notices of Apparent Liability released today were issued against three companies that appear to have
requested and/or received Lifeline support payments for individual customers who appeared on the
companies’ Lifeline subscriber lists more than once. The companies and proposed fines are as follows:
 Cintex Wireless ($9,461,978)
 Telrite Corporation ($22,399,761)
 Global Connection ($11,702,695)
In these cases, the carriers knew or should have known, based on their own internal data, that they were
not entitled to support for these duplicates under Lifeline program rules. The penalties proposed in
today’s NALs are in addition to recovery of universal service funds paid to the carriers for duplicative
Lifeline service. The companies have 30 days to pay or contest the proposed fines.
Cintex Wireless NAL: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-156A1.pdf
Telrite Corporation NAL: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-154A1.pdf
Global Connection NAL: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-155A1.pdf
-FCC-

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