FCC

Vector online conference concept in flat style - webinar and training on the webHighlights from DWT’s May 24 Lifeline Order Webinar

On April 27, the FCC released the text of its eagerly anticipated – and highly controversial – Lifeline Modernization Order.  The DWT Lifeline Team broke down the Order during its May 24 Deconstructing the Lifeline Order webinar.  Highlights are below. Danielle Frappier provided an overview of the Order and the process ...

Top Takeaways from DWT’s April 26 Open Internet Webinar

As the communications industry anxiously awaits a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on the judicial challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules, the Commission is charging forward with new regulations.  On April 26, DWT held its latest in a series of webinars ...

complainceGot a Compliance Plan or ETC Application Pending with the FCC? FCC Seeking Affirmation of Continued Interest from ETCs

Yesterday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice informing carriers with pending Lifeline compliance plans or applications for designation as an ETC that they must submit an “affirmative written statement that the carrier remains interested in having the Bureau review [the] application.”  The statement must be filed with ...

USAC

Lawmakers Echo FCC Chairman’s Call for Lifeline to Support Broadband

Members of Congress are asking FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to further modernize the Lifeline program to include broadband Internet services. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and 85 other members of the House sent a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler on February 11, asking that the Lifeline subsidy be made available to ...

USAC LogoUSAC Request for Information Contemplates National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier With Verification Lag

On September 10, USAC posted a Request for Information (RFI)—usually a precursor to an RFP—to prospective vendors of a third party “national Lifeline eligibility verifier” system, proposed in the FCC’s pending Lifeline Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as a replacement for the current process wherein Lifeline ETCs receive and review proof ...

woman teaching analyticsUSAC Creates “VP of Stakeholder Engagement” Position

USAC has created a new position, Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement, and has selected Kate Hays to serve as the first person in that role. Prior to joining USAC, Ms. Hays served as COO and Senior Digital Strategist at Oglivy Washington, a public relations and marketing company which specializes in ...

National Lifeline Accountability Database

PaiApr19Commissioner Pai Seeks Information on Potential Lifeline Abuse

Commissioner Pai is seeking to identify other wireless ETCs that were allegedly engaged in practices similar to those detailed in the FCC’s recent Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) issued against Total Call Mobile. In a letter to Chris Henderson, USAC’s CEO, Commissioner Pai states that sales agents for Total Call “testified ...

Record Fine, Possible “Death Sentence” for Alleged Lifeline Violations Proposed by FCC

On April 7, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) against a wireless Lifeline provider, Total Call Mobile, Inc. (“Total Call”).  An investigation conducted by the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) and the FCC Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) identified what the Commission characterizes as “willful and intentional misconduct persisting ...

paper filingThis Year’s Lifeline Re-certification Process: Important Updates and Open Questions

As 2014 draws to a close, many ETCs are now finalizing the process of annually re-certifying their Lifeline subscriber bases, as required by FCC rules.  We have learned that USAC is taking the position that (1) all subscribers who fail to re-certify must be de-enrolled from the Lifeline program by ...

Congress

Lawmakers Echo FCC Chairman’s Call for Lifeline to Support Broadband

Members of Congress are asking FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to further modernize the Lifeline program to include broadband Internet services. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and 85 other members of the House sent a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler on February 11, asking that the Lifeline subsidy be made available to ...

Update: Senate Hearing Vents Lifeline Concerns, Proposals In Advance of New FCC Rulemaking

As previously reported, on June 2 the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet held a hearing on “Lifeline: Improving Accountability and Effectiveness,” in anticipation of the FCC’s expected June 18 adoption of a new Lifeline order and further notice of proposed rulemaking.  It is anticipated that the ...

Senate Subcommittee To Hold June 2 Hearing on Lifeline

In advance of the FCC’s expected adoption on June 18 of a new order and further notice of proposed rulemaking proposing further changes in the Lifeline program, the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet has announced a hearing on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 on “Lifeline: Improving ...

State

CaliforniaCalifornia PUC Taking Comments on Prioritizing Issues Concerning California LifeLine Program

At a prehearing conference on May 28, 2015, and in written comments due May 22, 2015, carriers will have a chance to weigh in on how the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) should prioritize outstanding issues relating to the California LifeLine program.  In 2014, in CPUC Rulemaking No. 11-03-013, the CPUC issued an order ...

OklahomaOklahoma Commission Revises Universal Service Rules

On March 12, 2015, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) adopted revisions to its rules relating to administration of federal and state universal service programs, including Lifeline.  While the revisions generally consist of an overdue overhaul of many outdated telecom service regulations, the OCC adopted a number of substantive rule changes affecting Lifeline ETCs, including:  ...

fcc-logo_white-on-light-blueFCC Seeks Comment on 911 Fee Preemption Petition for Lifeline Subscribers

Today, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice requesting industry comment on a Petition filed by TracFone Wireless regarding 911 fees charged to Lifeline subscribers.  Specifically, the Petition asks the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling on an emergency basis stating that state laws and regulations that impose ...

Broadband Pilot

FCC LogoFCC Proposes Major Overhaul of Lifeline Program Including Support for Broadband

Earlier today, the FCC adopted an order and further notice of proposed rulemaking (referred to below as “Order and FNPRM”) that will revise some aspects of the Lifeline program and proposes to make even larger changes, including supporting broadband. The text of the Order has not been released, but the FCC ...

Data storage cyber conceptStaff Releases Lifeline Broadband Pilot Report as FCC Gears Up for Vote on Lifeline Support for Broadband

Last Friday, staff in the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a report summarizing the results of the FCC’s Lifeline broadband pilot program.  The program was designed to determine how the Lifeline program might address the key barriers to broadband adoption within the low income population.  These barriers, first identified in the ...

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 ...

General

FCC Releases Eagerly Anticipated Lifeline Order

Four weeks after voting 3-2 along party lines to modernize the Lifeline program; the FCC has finally released the text  of the Order.  The new Lifeline rules: Provide a mechanism for Lifeline subsidies to support broadband service Eliminate voice service by December 2021 with few exceptions Create minimum service standards for broadband and ...

PaiApr19Commissioner Pai Seeks Information on Potential Lifeline Abuse

Commissioner Pai is seeking to identify other wireless ETCs that were allegedly engaged in practices similar to those detailed in the FCC’s recent Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) issued against Total Call Mobile. In a letter to Chris Henderson, USAC’s CEO, Commissioner Pai states that sales agents for Total Call “testified ...

Record Fine, Possible “Death Sentence” for Alleged Lifeline Violations Proposed by FCC

On April 7, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) against a wireless Lifeline provider, Total Call Mobile, Inc. (“Total Call”).  An investigation conducted by the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) and the FCC Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) identified what the Commission characterizes as “willful and intentional misconduct persisting ...