FCC CONSUMER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Recommendation regarding Print & Expanded Non-English Lifeline Outreach
The Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Federal Communications Commission
(Commission) applauds the work of the Federal Communications Commission to modernize and
reform the Lifeline program of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program has played a
critical role in connecting low-income consumers to voice service. As the Commission implements
the necessary changes to the Lifeline program, the CAC recommends that the Commission expand
its efforts to reach all intended participants of the low-income support program.
In discussions with FCC staff, the CAC understands that the intent is to focus all outreach efforts
on the website: https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline/outreach
. Materials on the website are available in
English and Spanish. The CAC again recommends that versions in additional languages, including
simple language versions, be posted to provide information on Lifeline to the millions of low
income consumers who cannot read either English or Spanish.
Regarding the distribution of outreach materials, we were told that the FCC has no budget to print
and distribute outreach materials. This is a serious problem. While grassroots organizations are
willing to help spread the word on the Lifeline changes, many lack the funds to duplicate the
outreach materials on the web site.
It is clear to the CAC that funds for translation and free distribution of Lifeline materials, in bulk.
are required for an effective outreach effort, including document formats accessible to people with
Therefore, the CAC respectfully recommends that a small percentage of the
estimated savings generated by eliminating duplicative Lifeline support as reported by the
FCC on July 31, 2012 be set aside for the purpose of creating a meaningful and effective
Lifeline outreach initiative.
Adopted: September 21, 2012
Abstentions: American consumer Institute, CTIA the Wireless Association, T-Mobile, Verizon
Debra R. Berlyn, Chairperson
FCC Consumer Advisory Committee