Lifeline

Trainings & Outreach

LI Program News - 3rd Quarter 2015

3rd Quarter 2015

In this issue...

At the FCC   l   Did You Know?  

FCC Takes Steps to Modernize and Reform Lifeline Program for Broadband 

News from the Federal Communications Commission
June 18, 2015
 
The FCC took significant steps to modernize its Lifeline Program (FCC 15-71), seeking comment on restructuring the program to better support 21st Century communications while building on existing reforms to continue strengthening protections against waste, fraud, and abuse. Read the article

2015 ETC Recertification Tips

The 2015 annual recertification process is currently underway for Lifeline Program providers. The following are a list of recertification compliance tips that providers should review:
 

 

 

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  • All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must annually recertify Lifeline Program subscribers' eligibility to receive a program benefit. ETCs do not need to recertify subscribers in states where a state Lifeline Program administrator or other state agency is responsible for recertification.
  • ETCs must complete the 2015 annual recertification process by December 31, 2015.
    • Recertification is complete when an ETC has de-enrolled all non-responding and ineligible subscribers by December 31, 2015, and when all necessary updates to NLAD have been made within one business day of de-enrollment.
    • Recertification is considered incomplete until the ETC has de-enrolled all non-responding or ineligible subscribers and updated NLAD appropriately.
  • All active subscribers enrolled in the Lifeline Program prior to 2015 and for whom an ETC sought reimbursement on its February 2015 FCC Form 497 must be recertified in 2015.
    • ETCs are not responsible for recertifying subscribers who enrolled in January or February of 2015, who were de-enrolled for non-usage, or who de-enrolled prior to the ETC's recertification attempt.
  • ETCs, or state agencies, must use any available database to verify continued subscriber eligibility, even if a database is only available for a subset of programs in a state.
    • In the absence of a database, an ETC, or a state agency, must recertify the continued eligibility of a subscriber by obtaining a signed certification from the subscriber that meets the requirements of 47 CFR Section 54.410(d).
  • ETCs must notify subscribers in writing, separate from the subscriber's monthly bill (if applicable), using clear, easily understood language that failure to respond to the recertification request within 30 days of the date of the request will trigger de-enrollment from the program.
    • ETCs must ensure their recertification request complies with all certification and notice requirements of 47 CFR Section 54.410(d).
    • If a subscriber does not respond to the ETC's recertification request within 30 days, the carrier must de-enroll the subscriber from the Lifeline Program within five business days after the expiration of the subscriber's time to respond to the recertification efforts.
    • ETCs should periodically review their outreach materials to ensure subscribers are informed using clear, easily understood language.
See Public Notice (DA 15-397), footnote 13, and "Wireline Competition Bureau Reminds Carriers That They Must Re-certify Eligibility of All Lifeline Subscribers by December 31, 2012" (WC Docket No. 11-42) for detailed information. 

 

Lifeline Program

Newsletter

3Q 2015

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