Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Duty to Query National Lifeline Accountability Database to Commence

Download Options

Released: January 14, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-40

Released: January 14, 2014



WC Docket No. 11-42

In the 2012 Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission established the National Lifeline
Accountability Database (NLAD) to detect, prevent and eliminate duplicative support in the Lifeline
program.1 The Lifeline Reform Order also directed the Bureau to provide eligible telecommunications
carriers (ETCs) 30-days notice of their obligation to begin querying the NLAD.2 With this public notice,
the Wireline Competition Bureau informs all authorized entities, including ETCs, of their obligation to
begin querying the NLAD to determine if a prospective subscriber is currently receiving Lifeline-
supported service.3 The duty of authorized entities to query the NLAD commences in accordance with
the schedule released by USAC, but no sooner than 30 days after the release of this public notice.4
The Bureau reminds ETCs that they are required to collect, and provide to the NLAD, the
following information for each new and existing Lifeline subscriber:5

1 See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al., WC Docket. No. 11-42 et al., Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order). Additionally, in a prior
Bureau notice, the Bureau announced that the information for existing subscribers would be loaded into the database
beginning in December 2013, in accordance with a schedule to be released by the Universal Service Administrative
Company (USAC). See Wireline Competition Bureau Announces That The National Lifeline Accountability
Database Will Begin Accepting Subscriber Data In December
, WC Docket No. 11-42, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd
14639 n.3 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013) (NLAD Loading Notice).
2 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6736, para. 185.
3 See id.
4 See USAC, NLAD Migration, (last visited Jan. 3, 2014).
USAC has announced that the first state in which ETCs must query the database prior to enrolling new subscribers is
Maryland in mid-February 2014, with additional states to follow on a rolling basis through the first quarter of 2014.
See id.
5 Over the last seven months, the Bureau and USAC held five webinars and workshops on the implementation and
technical features of the NLAD, including the process by which ETCs must query and load new subscriber
information. These workshops were held on June 19, August 27, September 18, October 31 and November 20,
2013, with hundreds of attendees participating. See USAC Trainings and Outreach, Online Learning Library, (last visited Jan. 14, 2014). Moreover, USAC has posted
a substantial amount of NLAD training materials that remain accessible on the USAC website and can be retrieved
at any time. See USAC, National Lifeline Accountability Database,
resources.aspx (last visited Jan. 14, 2014). USAC has also posted responses to various questions presented by ETCs

The subscriber’s full name;
Full residential address;
Date of birth;
Last four digits of the subscriber’s Social Security number, or of the subscriber’s
Tribal Identification number if the subscriber is a member of a Tribal nation and
does not have a Social Security number;
The telephone number associated with the Lifeline service;
The date on which the Lifeline service was initiated;
The date on which the Lifeline service was terminated, if it has been terminated;
The amount of support being sought for that subscriber; and
The means through which the subscriber qualified for Lifeline.6
With this information, the NLAD will serve its purpose of detecting, eliminating, and preventing
duplicative support, and preventing waste in the universal service fund.
We also reiterate that ETCs receiving federal universal service support from the Lifeline program
must collect the subscriber information necessary to detect duplicative support.7 Pursuant to section
54.410 of the Commission’s rules, ETCs must confirm that their subscribers are qualifying low-income
consumers eligible under the Commission’s rules for Lifeline service.8 This includes the obligation to
eliminate any instances of intra-company duplicative support.9 Section 54.405(e) of the Commission’s
rules states that, if an ETC “has a reasonable basis to believe that a Lifeline subscriber no longer meets
the criteria to be considered a qualifying low-income consumer under § 54.409, the carrier must notify the
subscriber of impending termination of his or her Lifeline service.”10 ETCs should use all information
available to them, including the information collected as part of their obligation to transmit information to
the NLAD, to identify and eliminate household duplicates.
(Continued from previous page)
about the NLAD. See USAC, Getting Started, National Lifeline Accountability Database, (last visited Jan. 14, 2014).
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.404(b)(6); see also Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6736, para. 184; NLAD Loading
. In the Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission suggested that ETCs could obtain updated address
information and the other subscriber information required for the NLAD during the recertification process. See 27
FCC Rcd at 6717, para. 134.
7 See NLAD Loading Notice, 28 FCC Rcd at 14640.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 54.410(a)(1)-(2).
9 See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al., WC Docket No. 11-42 et al., Report and Order, 26 FCC
Rcd 9022, 9027, para. 8 (2011); see also Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Eligible Telecommunications
Carriers of Their Obligation to Eliminate Duplicative Lifeline Support
, WC Docket No. 11-42, Public Notice, 27
FCC Rcd 12325, 12326 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2012); i-wireless, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
28 FCC Rcd 15381, 15386, para. 17 (2013).
10 47 C.F.R. § 54.405(e)(1).

For further information, please contact Anita Patankar-Stoll, Telecommunications Access Policy
Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7121 or TTY (202) 418-7340; Anita.Patankar-
- FCC -

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.