FCC Takes Steps To Ensure Compliance With Lifeline Rules
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
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).
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
June 25, 2013
Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253
FCC TAKES FURTHER STEPS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH RULES PROTECTING
LIFELINE PROGRAM AGAINST WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE
Washington, D.C. The FCC took further steps today to ensure that providers participating in the
Lifeline program follow rules that protect the program against waste, fraud and abuse. Lifeline provides a
discount on phone service for eligible low-income consumers.
"The FCC adopted tough, comprehensive reforms last year to combat waste, fraud and abuse in the
Lifeline program," said Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn. "These reforms saved over $200 million in
the first year alone, and are on track to save $2 billion by the end of 2014. We take any abuse of our rules
seriously and are acting aggressively to enforce them in order to preserve this program for the less
fortunate among us who rely on Lifeline to reach emergency services, jobs and loved ones."
In an Enforcement Advisory, the Enforcement Bureau reminded providers that they are responsible for
the conduct of their agents or representatives marketing the service. The Bureau is concerned that some
providers are not taking steps to make certain that their agents follow Lifeline rules, and is investigating
possible misconduct on the part of these providers as well as their agents. The Advisory also reminds
providers that it is unlawful to sell or transfer Lifeline service to anyone else.
In addition, the Wireline Competition Bureau emphasized that providers must verify eligibility of a new
subscriber before initiating service. Despite the directives provided in the Lifeline Reform Order, some
ETCs may be activating phones for consumers prior to fully verifying their eligibility.
Last week, Commission staff, along with representatives from the Universal Service Administrative
Company (USAC), hosted a webinar that drew 600 participants to share information about the National
Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Along with the database vendor, Commission staff and
USAC representatives explained that the NLAD would be operational by year end and what steps would
be followed to meet this goal. Establishment of the NLAD will ensure permanent detection and
prevention of multiple Lifeline subscriptions in a household.
Link to Enforcement Advisory: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-13-1435A1.pdf
Link to Order: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-13-1441A1.pdf
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