This webpage outlines Lifeline program data, including program participation rates, National Verifier (NV) eligibility information, and disbursements.
- Lifeline Participation
- Additional Metrics
USAC relies on the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS) to estimate the rate at which Lifeline-eligible households participate in the Lifeline program. The chart below outlines the total number of Lifeline subscribers for the specified time period, the estimated number of households eligible for the Lifeline benefit based on the most recent ACS data available, and Lifeline’s estimated participation rate.
The subscriber count is based on:
- The number of subscribers enrolled in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) in NLAD states, and
- The number of subscribers reported to USAC by NLAD opt-out state administrators (in CA, OR, and TX).
For more details on the methodology used to calculate Lifeline’s participation rate, review the Lifeline Participation Rate Excel file.
Download Lifeline’s Data and Statistics Excel file for information on:
- The total support amount disbursed to Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) versus Competitive Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (CETCs),
- Historical data on distribution of support, and
- The percentage of subscribers who qualify through each Lifeline qualifying government assistance program and the percentage of subscribers who qualify through their income.
USAC updates the file twice a year.
Lifeline Subscribership by County by Service Type
In the 2019 Lifeline Order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directed USAC to make aggregate subscribership data available, including data at the county level by service type.
Review the Lifeline Subscribers by County by Service Type Excel file for information on the total number of Lifeline subscribers by county and service type.
Census Blocks Eligible for Continued Voice Support
In the 2016 Lifeline Order, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined a shift in the Lifeline program towards a greater focus on supporting broadband services for Lifeline eligible consumers. This included:
- A transition period to phase down support for voice-only Lifeline services before reimbursement for such services decreases to $0 on December 1, 2021; and
- An exception to a complete phase-down allowing for $5.25 in Lifeline reimbursement per subscriber per month beginning December 1, 2020, for qualifying voice-only services provided to Lifeline subscribers in Census blocks where there is only one Lifeline provider.
On July 7, 2023, the Wireline Competition Bureau paused the phase-out of Lifeline support for voice-only services for an additional year. The basic Lifeline support of $5.25 remains available to eligible consumers who subscribe to voice-only service until at least December 1, 2024.
Impacted Census Blocks
Review these Census blocks, which are eligible for continued voice-only reimbursement as described above, by states, ZIP codes, and Census blocks.
The current list was announced by the FCC in a Public Notice on June 1, 2021. The FCC and USAC anticipate that they will update this file by June 1 of each year.
NV Eligibility Data
Review NV Quarterly Eligibility Data below:
- Q3 2023 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q2 2023 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q1 2023 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q4 2022 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q3 2022 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q2 2022 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q1 2022 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q4 2021 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q3 2021 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q2 2021 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q1 2021 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
- Q4 2020 National Verifier Quarterly Eligibility Data
Lifeline Disbursement Data
Through Lifeline’s Funding Disbursement tool, users can search for payment data for any month beginning in January 2004. Use Lifeline’s Disbursements Open Data tool to search for the total dollar amount disbursed to each ETC and the total number of subscribers claimed by each ETC, every month and year since January 2018.