FCC Extends Pause of Lifeline Phase-Out and Mobile Data Increase
The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau maintains the status quo and extends, for an additional year, the waiver pausing both the phase-out of Lifeline support for voice-only services and the increase in Lifeline minimum service standards for mobile broadband data capacity. Without this decision, support for services that meet only the voice minimum service standard, which currently stands at $5.25 per month, would be eliminated in most areas on December 1, 2022. Additionally, the minimum service standard for mobile broadband data capacity would rise from 4.5 GB to 6.5 GB per month beginning December 1, 2022. The bureau finds good cause to extend this pause for one more year to consider additional implications related to the newly established Affordable Connectivity Program and the FCC’s forthcoming Report on the Future of the Universal Service Fund. This pause will extend to December 1, 2023, giving the FCC time to consider how the longer-term Affordable Connectivity Program and any findings in the forthcoming Report on the Future of the Universal Service Fund should bear on the future of the Lifeline Program.
WCB Extends Pause of Lifeline Phase-Out and Mobile Data Increase