ETCs Reminded of Requirement to Eliminate Duplicative Lifeline Support
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: October 11, 2012
WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU REMINDS ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS
CARRIERS OF THEIR OBLIGATION TO ELIMINATE DUPLICATIVE LIFELINE SUPPORT
WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03-109, 12-23 and CC Docket No. 96-45In this public notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) provides guidance to Eligible
Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) and state administrators regarding compliance with the one-per-
household rule adopted in the Lifeline Reform Order, and reminds ETCs of their ongoing duty to prevent
and eliminate duplicative support.1
In the Lifeline Reform Order, the Commission codified a rule that eligible consumers can only
receive one Lifeline-supported service per household.2 To comply with the one-per-household rule, each
ETC has an ongoing duty to ensure that it provides support to only one subscriber per household.3 An
ETC may not serve more than one person at an address without obtaining the required certifications.4
Consistent with the one-per-household rule, once an ETC determines through an examination of
its records that it is providing Lifeline supported service to multiple subscribers at a single address, the
ETC must provide each subscriber at that address with a one-per-household worksheet. The ETC must
also inform the subscriber that he or she has 30 days to respond and provide the requested information, or
the subscriber will be de-enrolled.5 The ETC must de-enroll a subscriber that fails to attest that the
subscriber is a member of a separate household at the address or fails to return the one-per-household
worksheet.6 Similarly, if a prospective subscriber seeks to obtain service at an address where the ETC is
already serving a subscriber, the prospective subscriber must attest that it is part of a separate household,
prior to the ETC providing Lifeline service to the new subscriber.7 ETCs which have failed to take the
1 See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization et al., WC Dkt. Nos. 11-42 et al., CC Dkt. No. 96-45, Report
and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order or Order).
2 See id., 27 FCC Rcd at 6689, para. 74. The one-per-household rule is codified at 47 C.F.R. § 54.409(c). See 47
C.F.R. § 54.409(c). This rule became effective June 1. See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6859-60, para.
515; 77 FR 12952 (March 2, 2012), corrected by 77 FR 19125 (Mar. 30, 2012).
3 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6691, para. 78 (stating that an ETC must “search its own internal
records to ensure that it does not already provide Lifeline-supported service to someone at that residential address”).
4 See id., 27 FCC Rcd at 6719, para. 140.
5 See id., 27 FCC Rcd at 6720, para. 143 (noting that an ETC must provide 30 days notice to a subscriber prior to de-
enrollment if the ETC has reason to believe that that subscriber is no longer eligible for Lifeline).
6 See id., 27 FCC Rcd at 6690-91, para. 77; 47 C.F.R. § 54.405(e)(1). The one-per-household worksheet can be
found at http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/li/doc/Lifeline-household-worksheet.docx.
necessary steps to prevent and eliminate intra-company duplicates may be subject to administrative action
by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and/or enforcement action by the
For further information, please contact Jonathan Lechter, Telecommunications Access Policy
Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-1442 or TTY (202) 418-0484.
- FCC -
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7 See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6691, para. 78. Subscribers must provide a certification at sign up and
as part of the recertification process (for those subscribers whose eligibility is not recertified through a database) that
the subscriber is compliant with the one-per-household rule. See 47 C.F.R. § 54.410(d)(3); 47 C.F.R.
§ 54.410(f)(2)(iii); (f)(3)(iii).
8 The Bureau expects that the ETCs’ subscriber information transmitted to USAC to begin the National Lifeline
Accountability Database “scrubbing process” will be free of intra-company duplicates. See Lifeline Reform Order,
27 FCC Rcd at 6749, para. 215 (“The scrubbing process should begin once the Bureau approves USAC’s plan and
ETCs have provided their existing subscriber lists and accompanying data to either USAC or the database”).