Lifeline/Low-Income Consumers

A April 2013 Congressional hearing made us think – “Why don’t we make it easy for people to follow developments in the FCC’s Lifeline program?”

Communications Workers challenge Verizon’s purchase of Tracfone

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is taking issue with Verizon’s proposed acquisition of Tracfone. The trade union says Tracfone is one of the largest providers of Lifeline services in the United States, and it fears those services could be jeopardized if Tracfone is acquired by Verizon. CWA also says the prospect of the acquisition raises significant antitrust concerns, which could negatively affect consumer prices and workers’ wages in the wireless industry. Verizon is trying to buy the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Tracfone for $6.9 billion.

FCC Extends COVID Related Lifeline Program Waivers through Feb. 2021

In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau has waived certain Lifeline program rules in five previous orders to provide necessary relief for low-income households.

Mixed Decision on Waiver of Lifeline Minimum Service Standards

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau addresses the petition of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA), seeking a waiver of the FCC’s rules updating the Lifeline program’s minimum service standard for mobile broadband usage, which otherwise would take effect on December 1, 2020. NaLA also seeks to halt the phase-down of the support amount for Lifeline service that does not meet the broadband minimum standard, which will decrease from $7.25/month to $5.25/month on December 1, 2020.

Sponsor: 

Universal Service Administrative Company

Date: 
Wed, 11/18/2020 - 19:00 to 20:00

Updates about the Lifeline Program, including rules and orders, guidance about compliance and filings, the National Verifier, and the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). During the webinar, you can ask questions and participate in a collaborative dialogue with USAC and stakeholders throughout the industry.



With a Biden Administration, Broadband Advocates Have Hope for Lifeline Reform

With President-elect Joe Biden and his to-be-determined administration preparing to take office in January, broadband and consumer advocates are optimistic about the prospects of modernization reforms for Lifeline and other federal programs aimed at making internet and phone services more affordable under a potentially Democratic-led Federal Communications Commission.

Restoring the Federal Communications Commission’s Legal Authority to Oversee the Broadband Market

The next leadership team of the Federal Communications Commission must prioritize restoring the agency’s authority to protect consumers and competition in the broadband market. Under the next administration, FCC leadership should quickly commence a proceeding proposing to reclassify broadband as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This reclassification puts the FCC on the firmest legal ground to

Biden's win gives tech industry the chance for a Washington reset

Joe Biden's transformation into president-elect Saturday kicks off a new era for tech, giving an industry that's found itself increasingly at odds with government the chance for a reset. Biden's ascent could see the restoration of some tech-friendly Obama-era policies but is unlikely to end the bipartisan techlash that grew during Trump's term.

FCC Reaches $200 Million Settlement in Sprint Lifeline Investigation

The Federal Communications Commission announced that T-Mobile will pay a $200 million penalty to the US Treasury to resolve an investigation of its subsidiary Sprint’s compliance with the FCC’s rules regarding waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program for low-income consumers. The payment is the largest fixed-amount settlement the FCC has ever secured to resolve an investigation.

FCC Responds to Narrow Remand of Restoring Internet Freedom Order

The Federal Communications Commission adopted an Order on Remand in response to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit’s remand of three discrete issues for further consideration by the FCC regarding its 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The court’s Oct 2019 ruling in Mozilla Corp. v. FCC affirmed the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules. The Court’s decision also upheld the FCC’s robust transparency rule ensuring consumers are fully informed about their online options. This action addresses the few remaining issues the court asked the FCC to consider.

Reactions to FCC Net Neutrality Remand Order

On Oct 27, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve an Order on Remand that would reaffirm the agency’s 2017 net neutrality repeal. The vote is a response to a 2019 remand by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Mozilla v. FCC ordering the agency to address how its net neutrality repeal could harm public safety, pole attachments, and even the Lifeline program.