News & Analysis as of

Lifeline Program

Changes to Lifeline in 2018

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Although the future of the Lifeline program is in doubt, business must go on. ETCs should familiarize themselves with two key administrative changes taking place in 2018. The FCC issued a Public Notice last week reminding...more

FCC Takes Steps to Radically Reshape and Shrink the Lifeline Program

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

FCC Chairman Pai Directs USAC Action to “Safeguard” the Lifeline Program

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On July 11, 2017, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent a letter to USAC requesting that it implement various audit mechanisms and safeguards to protect the Lifeline program from waste, fraud, and abuse. This letter comes on the heels...more

FCC Reduces Reporting Requirements for High Cost ETCs

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Four days after ETCs were required to submit FCC Form 481 (54.313 / 54.422 Data Collection Form); the FCC released an order streamlining the process for high-cost USF recipients by eliminating reporting requirements it deemed...more

GAO Report on Lifeline Released

On June 29th, 2017, the GAO released its long-awaited report on the Lifeline program. The report has already generated multiple statements that waste, fraud and abuse are “prevalent,” and that “everything” is wrong with the...more

Increased Lifeline Minimum Service Standards and Budget Cap for 2018 Announced

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In 2016, the FCC adopted its Lifeline Modernization Order, in which it introduced Lifeline subsidies for the provision of broadband services, and imposed graduated minimum service standards for Lifeline-supported broadband...more

2017 Vermont Legislative Session | The Year in Review - DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team Final Analysis

by Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC on

A May 18th adjournment brought to a close the first half of the 74th biennial session of the Vermont General Assembly. Drama awaits as Gov. Phil Scott has threatened to veto H.518, the fiscal year 2018 budget, over an...more

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

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

News from the Vermont Statehouse An - Analysis from DRM’s Government & Public Affairs Team - March 2017 #2

by Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC on

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a proposal from the Vermont Department of Taxes to reduce the amount of use tax a person can pay without providing records to prove his or her tax liability. The rate would...more

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

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...more

Who Will Grant Licenses for Lifeline Broadband? FCC Takes a Pause in Pending Appeal to Consider New Administration’s Approach

Last Friday, the FCC filed a motion with the DC Circuit to put a hold on the pending appeal of a portion of its 2016 Lifeline order finding that the FCC—and not the states—had sole jurisdiction to grant Lifeline broadband...more

FCC Cancels Recently Granted Lifeline Broadband Provider Licenses as Part of Larger Sweep of Wheeler-Era Decisions

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau recently granted nine Lifeline Broadband Provider (“LBP”) designations: four on December 1, 2016 and five more on January 18, 2017, as part of its effort launched last year by...more

Chairman Pai Launches Rollback of Recent FCC Actions

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The FCC retracted actions related to net neutrality, network security, media ownership, and other hot-topic issues in a series of orders issued late Friday. The orders represent the first major salvo in Chairman Pai’s...more

DWT Gains Approval of Three Lifeline Broadband Provider Petitions Among Five New FCC Grants

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On January 18, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an order granting five Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) petitions, enabling the grantees to receive Lifeline support for the provision of broadband Internet access...more

FCC Clarifies Lifeline Obligations for High-Cost ETCs

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

FCC Settles Largest Lifeline Enforcement Case for $30 million and Permanent Ban from the Program

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

We reported last spring on the FCC’s accusations against Total Call Mobile and proposed fine of more than $51 million relating to agent misconduct and the failure of company management to take sufficient and early corrective...more

FCC Grants States Extra Time to Implement Lifeline Rules

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On December 1, 2016, the day before new eligibility and port freeze rules imposed by the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order on Lifeline-supported broadband services were to take effect, the FCC granted in part the petitions of...more

New Lifeline Rules Take Effect December 2 and Draft Plan Released for National Verifier

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The Lifeline program, created more than 30 years ago to make telephone service more affordable for low-income families, has undergone its most radical change to date. Effective last Friday, Lifeline has been expanded to...more

First Group of Lifeline Broadband Providers Designated by the FCC

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

What to Expect From the Trump FCC

by Perkins Coie on

In the days since the recent election, many tech, media and telecom industry observers remain unsure of what to expect from the Federal Communications Commission under the Trump administration. Fortunately, there are some...more

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

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

FCC Guidance on New Annual Re-Certification Rules Issued

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Late last week, the FCC issued guidance on its new re-certification rules. The current rule requires Lifeline ETCs to conduct their annual re-certification efforts without regard to an individual subscriber’s Lifeline start...more

FCC Guidance Issued for Entities Interesting in Becoming Lifeline Broadband Providers

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

Effective Dates of New FCC Lifeline Rules Finalized

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

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

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

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...more

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