Lifeline Audits: Next Steps and the Tools You’ll Need for the Biennial Audits
Posted 1 day ago

The FCC has now finalized its guidelines for the biennial…

Lifeline Audits: Next Steps and the Tools You’ll Need for the Biennial Audits
Final Guidelines for Biennial Audits Released
Posted 19 days ago

Late Wednesday, the FCC released the final guidelines for the biennial…

Final Guidelines for Biennial Audits Released
NLAD is Up and Running
Posted 20 days ago

The FCC's National Lifeline Accountability Database ("NLAD") now is operational…

Lifeline Database Update:  NLAD Operational in All States, FCC Announces Success
Industry Group Proposes Further Reforms
Posted 8 days ago

On April 14, the Lifeline Reform 2.0 Coalition, a group…

Industry Group Proposes Further Reforms
New NAL Proposes $3.7 Million in Fines for Alleged Duplicates
Posted 54 days ago

Today the FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) that…

New NAL Proposes $3.7 Million in Fines for Alleged Duplicates
New Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2014 Released
Posted 70 days ago

The Department of Health and Human Services released its annual…

New Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2014 Released
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Congress

US-Capitol4-150x108President Obama Urged by Congressmembers to Prioritize Enforcement and Databases

On October 1, 2013, six ranking members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama regarding the Federal Lifeline Program.   In the letter, Congressmembers Lujan, Waxman, Eshoo, Doyle, Matsui, and Welch urged the President to continue recent enforcement  actions as well as prioritize the construction of eligibility databases because millions of ...

The U.S. CapitolAlleged Forgery Leads to Further Calls for Reform from Sen. McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) sent another letter to Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn calling for further reforms of the Lifeline program, and threatening to eliminate the program if the agency fails to take further action to address waste, fraud and abuse, such as referring allegations of fraud to the Department of ...

Closeup of Pens36 Public Interest Groups Respond to Sen. McCaskill and Urge FCC Not to Defund Lifeline

A coalition of thirty-six public interest, civil rights and community organizations responded to Senator McCaskill's recent letter to the FCC, which suggested that Lifeline be de-funded and the money instead be used to fund new initiatives in the E-rate program.  The coalition, which includes AARP, United Church of Christ and Consumers ...

FCC

Lifeline AuditsLifeline Audits: Next Steps and the Tools You’ll Need for the Biennial Audits

The FCC has now finalized its guidelines for the biennial audits of ETCs that annually receive $5 million or more in federal Lifeline funding. In this webinar, DWT’s Lifeline team will first provide a refresher of what these audits mean for these ETCs and highlight what’s new in the final ...

fcc-logo_white-on-light-blueIndustry Group Proposes Further Reforms

On April 14, the Lifeline Reform 2.0 Coalition, a group of Lifeline ETCs, filed an ex parte letter that “revises and re-prioritizes its proposals for further Lifeline reform” following developments since the Coalition filed a petition for rulemaking this past July. The ex parte letter revisits two of the Coalition’s previous ...

Lifeline AuditsFinal Guidelines for Biennial Audits Released

Late Wednesday, the FCC released the final guidelines for the biennial audits of certain Lifeline service providers, as required by the February 2012 Lifeline Reform Order. The final audit guidelines include some notable revisions to the draft guidelines, on which DWT presented a webinar in November. Many of these changes appear to ...

State

CaliforniaCalifornia State LifeLine Funding Now Available to Wireless Carriers

On January 27, 2014 the California Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") issued a unanimous Decision in the California LifeLine proceeding.  The Decision allows wireless carriers to participate in the California LifeLine program for the first time and sets forth requirements that carriers must meet in order to participate. In order to receive state LifeLine funds, carriers previously ...

GeorgiaFederal Court Halts Georgia $5 Minimum Lifeline Rate

Today, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a Preliminary Injunction halting implementation of a new Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) rule (Utility Rule 515-12-1-.35(3)(f)) that would have required Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) in the state to bill and collect a minimum monthly rate of ...

CaliforniaCalifornia PUC Proposes to Allow Wireless Carriers to Participate in the State LifeLine Program

On October 30, the California Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") released a 174-page Proposed Decision (“PD”) in its California LifeLine proceeding.  The PD proposes to allow wireless carriers to participate in the California LifeLine program for the first time and sets forth requirements that carriers must meet in order to participate. In order to ...

General

Lifeline AuditsLifeline Audits: Next Steps and the Tools You’ll Need for the Biennial Audits

The FCC has now finalized its guidelines for the biennial audits of ETCs that annually receive $5 million or more in federal Lifeline funding. In this webinar, DWT’s Lifeline team will first provide a refresher of what these audits mean for these ETCs and highlight what’s new in the final ...

LifelineTwitter Account for Lifeline Law Advisor Launched

Lifeline Law Advisor recently launched its new Twitter account:  @LifelineLaw. Be sure to follow us to stay connected to insight and commentary from Davis Wright Tremaine on the federal Lifeline Program compliance and regulatory issues.

Cell Phone“Lifeline Awareness Week” Recognized by FCC, States, Congress and Public Interest Groups

The FCC, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) have designated September 9-15 as “National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week.”  The week was marked by statements by a variety of officials.  The FCC’s Acting Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn, issued a ...

National Lifeline Accountability Database

Data storage cyber conceptLifeline Database Update: NLAD Operational in All States, FCC Announces Success

The FCC's National Lifeline Accountability Database ("NLAD") now is operational in all states and has already had a significant impact in reducing waste, fraud, and abuse.  The FCC announced today that, so far, the NLAD has identified duplicate subscribers that will result in $169 million in annual savings to the program. ...

Data storage cyber conceptNLAD Launch on February 13 Likely to Stick

After multiple delays, the National Lifeline Accountability Database, or NLAD, appears closer to achieving its "go live" date, which is currently set for February 13, 2014 for the state of Maryland.  The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau released late yesterday a Public Notice announcing that "authorized entities" (which includes ETCs and ...

Data storage cyber conceptDatabase Rollout to Commence on December 16th

USAC will begin the launch process for the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) on December 16th, when it will be ready to receive data from ETCs and begin the scrubbing process for the first five states (Maryland, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Washington).   After the data has been submitted, USAC will ...

Broadband Pilot

internetBroadband Pilot Launched for Lifeline Program

A recent FCC order announced that DWT client, Nexus Communications, Inc. d/b/a ReachOut Wireless, was selected as one of the fourteen participants in an FCC pilot project to expand the Lifeline program to funding broadband services. The Lifeline program currently subsidizes discounts on wireline and wireless voice telephony services. Like ...

USAC

United States Tax TableNew Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2014 Released

The Department of Health and Human Services released its annual update of the federal poverty guidelines ("FPG") for 2014.  This updates the income levels used to qualify applicants for Lifeline-supported service, although most subscribers qualify on the basis of participation in another government assistance program such as Food Stamps or ...

Data storage cyber conceptDatabase Rollout to Commence on December 16th

USAC will begin the launch process for the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) on December 16th, when it will be ready to receive data from ETCs and begin the scrubbing process for the first five states (Maryland, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Washington).   After the data has been submitted, USAC will ...

Lifeline AuditsLifeline Audits Webinar Presented on November 19

On November 19, 2013, DWT's Lifeline Team presented a webinar titled Lifeline Audits:  Keep Calm and Be Ready. The presentation focused on the following topics: Overview:  Audits vs. PQAs vs. IDVs New Audit Guidelines:  What to Expect Practical Tips:  What Can You Do Now to Prepare? To view the presentation materials, click here. In related news, the FCC ...