At the end of March, the FCC directed the Universal Service Administrative Corporation (USAC) to pause involuntary de-enrollment of existing Lifeline program subscribers due to the COVID-19 pandemic until May 29, 2020. This will ensure that no Lifeline subscribers are involuntarily de-enrolled from the Lifeline program during this period. It also waives the usage requirements for wireless mobile Lifeline subscribers who would be de-enrolled after 30-days of non-usage. The Order does not waive the rules which require a carrier to de-enroll upon subscriber’s request.
The Commission determined it could be a hardship for subscribers to leave their home during this period if they were required to get the documentation to prove eligibility or to re-enroll. ETCs should begin calculation of subscriber’s non-usage periods after the end of the waiver on May 29, 2020.
The Order also extends the previous waiver of the Lifeline program’s recertification and reverification rules to May 29, 2020, to ensure all waiver periods have the same duration during this time.
The FCC believes all Americans should be connected to voice service and broadband during the pandemic. They will monitor the situation to watch for other considerations that might become necessary.
If you have any questions or you would like JSI’s help, please contact Lans Chase in JSI’s Georgia office at 770-569-2105 or Lisa McLaughlin in JSI’s Texas office at 512-338-0473.