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Lifeline Law Advisor Insight & Commentary on Lifeline Program Compliance & Regulatory Issues

Lifeline Rules Being Revised in Oklahoma

Davis Wright Tremaine Posted in State

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) issued two wide-ranging Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on December 19, 2012 to revise its universal service rules, with many proposals impacting Lifeline ETCs.  In one (Cause No. RM 201200013), the OCC proposes new rules for Lifeline ETCs that would outlaw marketing from mobile locations; require free 611 dialing to customer service; require that any Lifeline plan include a minimum of 1000 minutes or unlimited domestic calling; require that all handsets clearly identify the Lifeline provider; require an OCC order finding that any ETC’s rate plan change, new tariff or tariff modification is in the public interest; require ETCs to retain legible copies of customers’ photo ID, a copy of the signed Lifeline application for Lifeline service, and recertification information for five years from the initial date of service; require prior approval for Lifeline service provided purely by resale; and require  an ETC to maintain a database sufficient to identify any duplicates among all associated companies.

In another rulemaking (Cause No. RM 201200012), the OCC proposes additional new rules for wireless ETCs, including that all new or modified rate plans be approved by the OCC in advance;  that ETCs post their terms and conditions on their websites or maintain a current tariff with the Commission; that wireless ETCs retain all records, without limitation, for at least five years; that ETCs offer an unlimited anytime minutes plan for local service at no additional charge, and additional plans including at least 1,000 minutes of local service at no charge.  Comments on both NPRMs were filed on Jan. 8, 2013, with technical conferences held on Jan. 15 and Feb. 7.  The proceedings are slated for final OCC decisions on Feb. 14, 2013.