Tag Archives: Lifeline

Chairman Pai Launches Rollback of Recent FCC Actions

*J. Bradford Currier co-authored this post. 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 promised rollback of actions undertaken during the final days of former Chairman Wheeler’s tenure. Chairman … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: Lifeline Modernization and Transition from Voice to Broadband

At its open meeting on March 31, 2016 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted along party lines (3-2) to adopt a Lifeline Modernization Order implementing significant changes to the Lifeline Universal Service Program, the most significant of which is an expansion of the program to cover broadband service. Last week, the Commission released … Continue Reading

White House Announces ConnectALL Initiative to Spur Broadband Deployment and Adoption

The Administration continues to drive efforts to spur broadband deployment across the country and to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable broadband service.  Yesterday afternoon, President Obama announced ConnectALL, an effort aimed at connecting 20 million more Americans to broadband by 2020. This announcement builds on the successes of ConnectED, the White House … Continue Reading

The FCA and the USF: Reactions and Impressions from the FCBA’s False Claims Act Seminar

Last week, the Federal Communication Bar Association’s (FCBA’s) Enforcement Committee hosted a legal seminar on an issue that is somewhat new and unfamiliar to the communications bar – the federal False Claims Act (FCA), and particularly its use by the federal government to combat fraud in the Universal Service Fund (USF).  All in attendance had … Continue Reading

TerraCom & YourTel Reach $3.5 Million Settlement With FCC over Alleged Privacy, Data Security, and Lifeline Violations

On July 9th, the Enforcement Bureau (EB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) reached a $3.5 million Consent Decree to resolve an investigation into whether TerraCom, Inc. (TerraCom) and YourTel America, Inc. (YourTel) (collectively, the Companies) violated laws protecting “phone customers’ personal information,” and whether YourTel failed to timely de-enroll Lifeline subscribers following … Continue Reading

Unpacking the TracFone Cellphone Unlocking Settlement

On June 30th, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or the Commission’s) Enforcement Bureau (EB) reached a projected $3.2 million consent decree to resolve an investigation into whether TracFone, the nation’s largest prepaid wireless carrier, violated Commission rules related to its cellphone unlocking capabilities.  The FCC has estimated an aggregate consumer benefit of close to $80 … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Lifeline Item

Yesterday, the FCC adopted a Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Memorandum Opinion and Order to comprehensively restructure and modernize the Lifeline program.  While we do not yet have the order, the FCC issued a news release and the Chairman and Commissioners issued statements on the proceeding. … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes $10 Million in Fines for Privacy and Data Security Violations

On October 24, the FCC, over the dissent of its two Republican commissioners, issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) proposing a fine of $10 million to Lifeline eligible telecommunications carriers (“ETCs”) TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. for violations of laws protecting “phone customers’ personal information.” This is the agency’s first data security case and the … Continue Reading

FCC Announces USF Enforcement “Strike Force” To Combat Waste, Fraud and Abuse

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a Public Notice on July 14, 2014, announcing the creation of a new “Strike Force” to respond to concerns of waste, fraud and abuse in the Universal Service Fund (USF). Chairman Wheeler reiterated that “the Commission is committed to aggressively rooting out waste, fraud and abuse.” Operating within the Enforcement … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Smith Bagley Petition for Partial Waiver on Biennial Audits

Yesterday, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice seeking comment by July 25, 2014, on Smith Bagley, Inc.’s (“SBI’s”) Petition for Partial Waiver (also attached) of the biennial audit requirement.  The final Audit Plan requires the auditor to randomly select one month during the audit period (2013) and up to three states … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces Indictments of ATMS Executives on Criminal Charges for Alleged Lifeline Fraud

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that three Associated Telecommunications Management Services LLC (ATMS) executives were indicted yesterday charging one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 15 substantive counts of wire fraud, false claims and money laundering for their alleged role in a scheme to submit false claims to the Universal Service … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye to Host Regulatory Workshop at COMPTEL PLUS Spring 2014 Convention

On March 19, 2014, Kelley Drye will host a free, half-day workshop, at the COMPTEL PLUS Spring 2014 Convention & EXPO in Las Vegas, NV.  The workshop is designed to help service providers identify new opportunities as changes in technology, the marketplace, and the regulatory environment continue to disrupt existing business plans. Entitled “The Next … Continue Reading

Register Today for Kelley Drye’s 5th Annual USF Update Webinar on February 27th

With expenditures of nearly $9 billion annually, the FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF) approximates the total revenue of the entire National Football League. It is no wonder that USF continues to dominate the Commission’s telecommunications agenda. In 2013, the Commission implemented most aspects of the new “Connect America Fund”, continued work on its 2012 Lifeline … Continue Reading
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