FCC to reform and modernize Lifeline program for low-income families

By on February 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM.

FCC to reform and modernize Lifeline program for low-income families

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday the reformation and modernization of the Lifeline program. The revamped program will ensure affordable phone service is available to low-income families. Lifeline is a “universal service program that fulfills Congress’s mandate to ensure the availability of communications to all Americans.” The percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased dramatically since the program began in 1985, from 80% to nearly 92% last year. The FCC is looking to create a number of databases and protocols to end carrier abuse of the program. One such measure will be the creation of an eligibility database from governmental data sources to automate eligibility of initial and ongoing Lifeline participants. The move will “reduce the potential for fraud while cutting red tape for consumers and providers.” Lifeline is set to be revamped by no later than the end of 2013. More →

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Over half of net new Sprint subscribers utilize government-sponsored ‘Lifeline’ service

By on November 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM.

Over half of net new Sprint subscribers utilize government-sponsored ‘Lifeline’ service

More than 50% of Sprint’s net new subscriber additions at any given time utilize a government subsidy program called “Lifeline,” which provides low-income Americans with free wireless minutes each month. Sprint provides the service under its “Assurance Wireless” brand, and it makes money beyond the small government subsidies when Lifeline customers spill over their monthly pool of minutes. Actual figures are not available, but the carrier is reportedly nearing a total of 2 million Assurance Wireless subscribers according to The Wall Street Journal. Read on for more. More →

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