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Rules & Orders


Lifeline Program Rules. 47 C.F.R. Sections 54.400-417 are the rules governing the federal universal service Lifeline Program (formerly Low Income Program).


  • 2019 Fifth Report and Order. In November 2019, the FCC released the Fifth Report and Order on “Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers; Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization; Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support.”
  • 2017 Fourth Report and Order. In December 2017, the FCC released “Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers,” which eliminates the benefit port freeze and targets enhanced Tribal support and Link Up to rural Tribal areas and facilities-based providers, with rules effective starting February 15, 2018.
  • 2017 Hurricane Relief. The FCC issued orders to assist Lifeline participants in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
  • 2015 & 2016 Lifeline Orders. In June 2015, the FCC released the 2015 Lifeline Order, which became effective on various dates in 2016. In March 2016, the FCC released the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, with rules effective starting December 2, 2016.
  • 2014 Lifeline Order. On June 6, 2014, in Order FCC 14-785, the FCC conditionally granted petitions for waiver filed by USTelecom, individual state commissions, and a state carrier association that waives sections of the FCC’s rules which govern subscriber certification forms.
  • 2012 Lifeline Order. On February 6, 2012, the FCC released its Lifeline Reform Order (FCC 12-11) that makes significant changes to the federal Low Income Program.
  • 2000 Tribal Order. On June 30, 2000, the FCC released this order to sustain and promote telecommunications subscribership and infrastructure on tribal lands.
  • All Lifeline Program Orders.