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

Christopher Cook

Posts by Christopher Cook

FCC Takes Steps to Radically Reshape and Shrink the Lifeline Program

Posted in FCC

On November 16, 2017, a divided FCC voted 3-2 to adopt a controversial order and new rulemaking proceeding, adopting and proposing many changes that will radically reshape—and significantly shrink—the Lifeline program. The steps taken in the item signal that the now Republican-controlled FCC seeks to drastically reduce the role of the Lifeline program in the Universal… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Announces Plans to Require All Lifeline Providers to Seek Licenses from States—LBP Process to be Eliminated

Posted in FCC

On March 29, 2017, FCC Chairman Pai announced plans to initiate a proceeding at the FCC to eliminate the Lifeline Broadband Provider (“LBP”) designation process administered by its Wireline Competition Bureau. He also announced that the FCC will ask the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to send the pending court case concerning the LBP process… Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Petitions Appealing Cancellation of Lifeline Broadband Provider Designations

Posted in FCC

In a somewhat surprising move, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released two Public Notices seeking comment on two appeals of the Bureau’s own cancellation of the Lifeline Broadband Provider designations issued only weeks ago.  One notice seeks comment on the appeal filed by a large group of public interest organizations, and the second notice… Continue Reading

FCC Clarifies Lifeline Obligations for High-Cost ETCs

Posted in FCC

In a brief Order released last Friday, the Wireline Competition Bureau clarified that recipients of high-cost funding were not required to create any standalone Lifeline-specific broadband service offerings. After the FCC issued the Lifeline Modernization Order in April 2016 there was some ambiguity regarding the obligations of ETCs receiving high-cost support from the federal USF. … Continue Reading

First Group of Lifeline Broadband Providers Designated by the FCC

Posted in FCC, General

On December 1, 2016, the FCC somewhat unexpectedly issued an order approving four Lifeline Broadband Provider (“LBP”) applications, which will permit the companies to receive Lifeline support for the provision of broadband Internet access services to qualified applicants.  While each of the applications was granted under the FCC’s 60-day streamlined designation process, it is particularly… Continue Reading

FCC Guidance Issued for ETCs That Do Not Want to Provide Lifeline Broadband Services

Posted in FCC, National Lifeline Accountability Database

On Nov. 22nd, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice describing the requirement that ETCs who do not want to provide Lifeline-supported broadband internet access services (now known as “BIAS”) file a notice with the FCC. As we have previously described, when the FCC changed its rules in the Lifeline Modernization Order to… Continue Reading

FCC Guidance Issued for Entities Interesting in Becoming Lifeline Broadband Providers

Posted in FCC

On September 30th the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice describing the new Lifeline Broadband Provider (“LBP”) designation process, including details regarding what applicants should include in their LBP applications. As we have previously stated, the FCC will offer a streamlined, 60-day LBP designation process for petitions that meet certain requirements, such as… Continue Reading

Effective Dates of New FCC Lifeline Rules Finalized

Posted in FCC

Earlier today, the FCC announced in the Federal Register that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the remaining changes to the FCC’s Lifeline rules that were adopted in last spring’s Lifeline Modernization Order.  We provide an updated “Track Changes” version of the FCC’s revised Lifeline rules showing when each of the rule changes… Continue Reading

FCC Approves Lifeline Compliance Plans for the First Time in Nearly Four Years

Posted in FCC

For the first time in nearly four years, yesterday the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau announced the approval of two Lifeline compliance plans in a Public Notice.  The FCC action comes after the April 27 release of its Lifeline Modernization Order, which drastically altered the Lifeline program and put it on a course to support broadband…. Continue Reading

ETCs and State Commissions Seek to Overturn Some of the New FCC Lifeline Rules

Posted in FCC

As was expected after the FCC’s sweeping Lifeline rule changes, several parties filed Petitions for Reconsideration of the controversial Lifeline Modernization Order.  Petitioners, consisting of trade associations, ETCs, and a state public utilities commission, individually filed eight petitions for reconsideration on June 23rd, the last possible day to file. Each petition varies in the issues… Continue Reading

New FCC Lifeline Rules: Effective Dates Clarified Multiple Times But Some Discrepancies Remain

Posted in FCC

Update: The FCC corrected the discrepancies previously noted in our post by publishing corrections in the Federal Register The Lifeline Modernization Order was published in the Federal Register on May 24, making the effective date of the Order June 23, 2016.  Most of the rule changes, however, cannot take effect until the Office of Management… Continue Reading