New Lifeline Rules Approved by OMB; LBP Designation Process Announced

Effective Dates Set for Rule Changes

The FCC issued a Public Notice on October 3rd announcing that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had approved the new rules from the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.  The OMB approval published in the Federal Register set the effective dates for the new rules as outlined below.

Rules Effective October 3, 2016:

  • Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) ETC designation process
  • LBP relinquishment process
  • Broadband internet access service definition

Rules that will become effective on December 2, 2016:

  • Adding broadband as a supported service
  • Revised definitions of Lifeline program
  • Lifeline support amount for broadband and stand-alone voice phase down
  • Revised Lifeline de-enrollment process
  • Updated reimbursement rules for offering Lifeline
  • New minimum service standards
  • Consumer qualification for Lifeline and subscriber eligibility determination
  • Lifeline benefit portability
  • New annual certification requirements by ETCs
  • Low-income program audits
  • Annual reporting for ETCs

Rules that will become effective on January 1, 2017:

  • New subscriber annual rolling re-certification process

Lifeline Broadband Provider ETC Designation Process

On September 30, 2016, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing guidance regarding designation as a Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP).  With the rule now in effect, providers that want to seek designation as an LBP can petition the FCC and take advantage of the new 60-day streamlined designation process.  JSI can assist providers with this process.

In order to qualify for the streamlined process, a provider must:

  1. serve at least 1,000 non-Lifeline customers with voice telephone service and/or broadband internet service at the time of the filing; and
  2. have offered broadband services to the public for at least the two years preceding the filing, without interruption.

For more information about these changes to Lifeline or anything Lifeline related, you can contact one of our experts by clicking the button below.

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