Jordan Majkszak

National Lifeline Association Chairman Issues Statement Regarding FCC Enforcement Action Against American Broadband

David B. Dorwart, Chairman of NaLA, issues a statement regarding the FCC allegations of Lifeline rule violations and Notice of Apparent Liability against American Broadband


The allegations of Lifeline rule violations, including agent fraud and carrier misconduct, included in today’s FCC Notice of Apparent Liability against American Broadband, if proven to be true require nothing short of our absolute condemnation. We understand that the FCC has a process which will allow American Broadband to defend itself against these very serious and disconcerting allegations.

In the meantime, NaLA and its stakeholder members will continue the good work they do every day in bringing the Lifeline program to eligible subscribers. NaLA and its wireless reseller carriers work hard every day to ensure that only eligible subscribers get Lifeline benefits and that only eligible subscribers retain them. Today’s news will serve as a reminder to all Lifeline stakeholders just how important it is to achieve and maintain compliance in every facet of the good work that we do in ensuring Lifeline eligible low-income Americans are able to access this benefit that ensures essential voice and broadband connectivity.

The official press release can be reviewed here.

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Jordan MajkszakNational Lifeline Association Chairman Issues Statement Regarding FCC Enforcement Action Against American Broadband
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Stay Granted for FCC Tribal Lifeline Rules to Bar Wireless Resellers and Lower Subsidies for Tribal Consumers of Lifeline Program

The U.S. Court of Appeals granted National Lifeline Association (NaLA) and Tribal petitioners a stay of new FCC Tribal Lifeline rules that would have barred wireless resellers from providing Tribal Lifeline and would also limit the Tribal Lifeline program to rural Tribal areas.

The Court stated that the FCC’s plan does not consider the harm it can cause to Lifeline businesses and customers. It is estimated that 70% of eligible consumers receive their Lifeline service from wireless resellers. The Court added that these actions would “result in a major reduction, or outright elimination, of critical telecommunications services” for Lifeline consumers and “substantial, unrecoverable losses” for Lifeline providers. Many Tribal consumers do not have an alternate option to obtain Lifeline phone or internet services if a wireless reseller ban were to be implemented. In addition, the FCC “identified no evidence of fraud or misuse of funds in the aspects of the program at issue here,” the Court wrote.

The judges also rejected the FCC’s claim that reducing subsidies would cause carriers to build their own networks in Tribal areas. They said the Commission failed to show any historical evidence that reducing subsidies would lead to more infrastructure investment. This argument was the justification for the new FCC Tribal Lifeline Rules that would eliminate wireless resellers from providing services on Tribal lands. The judges stated that the record suggested just the opposite.

In reaching its decision, it appears the Court understood that wireless resellers play a critical role in connecting low income consumers to essential communications services through the Lifeline program. Disconnecting consumers causes a digital divide.

“NaLA is pleased that the Court heard and agreed with the arguments presented and that the Court took action so the case can be decided without Tribal Lifeline subscribers, or the companies that work to serve them, suffering irreparable harm,” said David B. Dorwart, Board Chairman of NaLA. “In reaching its decision, it appears the Court understood that wireless resellers play a critical role in connecting low income consumers to essential communications services through the Lifeline program. Disconnecting consumers causes a digital divide. It does not put them first, nor does it further the Lifeline program’s core goal of ensuring that our nation’s most vulnerable consumers stay connected by making service affordable. NaLA looks forward to continue working with all stakeholders to preserve and protect the integrity of the Lifeline program so we can strive to meet this important goal.”

As advocates for preserving Lifeline, NaLA is encouraged by the Court’s statement that, “Petitioners have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their arguments.” The decision to halt the FCC’s move to prevent wireless resellers and lower Lifeline subsidies for Tribal areas is a big win for low-income Tribal consumers.

Read the full court order here: United States Court of Appeals Case #18-1026 Document #1744949 Filed on 08/10/2018

Read the original press release here.

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Jordan MajkszakStay Granted for FCC Tribal Lifeline Rules to Bar Wireless Resellers and Lower Subsidies for Tribal Consumers of Lifeline Program
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200+ Lifeline Advocates Come Together for 2017 NaLA Annual Conference in New Orleans

NaLA Members,

The NaLA Annual Conference took place last month, with over 200 members gathering in New Orleans for the event.   We are so grateful to all the sponsors, volunteers, and attendees who made this event possible! We heard from over a dozen speakers and panelists who provided insight into compelling discussions on topics such as Effects of the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, the implementation of a National Verifier, Internal Control, Fraud Prevention, and Privacy Practices.

The theme of this year’s conference was centered around innovation and adaptation during times of change. Guest speaker, Linda Crill, spoke of her personal journey through change and discovery – an inspirational testament of our need to adapt and “roll with the punches” when navigating the landscape of Lifeline.   Overall, the 2017 conference exemplified the three governing values of our organization: Education, Cooperation, and Advocacy. We are never more unified in our mission and vision than when we are at this event – therefore it is really at the conference is where the molding and advocacy of the program is at it’s best.   We have been honored by the stream of compliments that have been received since we returned from the conference and look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Thanks everyone and we look forward to hosting you in New Orleans again in 2018! Keep checking our website for updated information.

Sincerely,

David Dorwart - Chairman, National Lifeline Association

David Dorwart
Chairman, National Lifeline Association

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Jordan Majkszak200+ Lifeline Advocates Come Together for 2017 NaLA Annual Conference in New Orleans
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2017 NaLA Annual Conference Presentations

About the 2017 NaLA Annual Conference Talks

The 2017 NaLA Annual Conference presentations are now available online for NaLA Members. Each conference day was comprised of both NaLA Talks and Panel Sessions, where attendees heard from over a dozen speakers and panelists who provided insight into compelling discussions topics, such as the Effects of the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, the implementation of a National Verifier, Internal Control, Fraud Prevention, and ETC Privacy Practices.

2017 NaLA Annual Conference Presentations:

Below is a list of all available content from the presenters of NaLA Talks. Click on the title of the NaLA Talk that you would like to view:

Tuesday, May 9

David Dorwart, NaLA Chairman “NaLA Annual Conference Opening Remarks
John Heitmann, Kelley Drye “Lifeline in Washington: Capitol Hill Update

Wednesday, May 10

John Heitmann, Kelley Drye “Privacy Practices for ETCs
Anne Turner (Clements), CGM “National Verifier

Marisa Lorenzo, Kelley Drye “Internal Control, Fraud Prevention & False Claims Act
David Dorwart, NaLA Chairman “NaLA Annual Review
Kim Lehman, enTouch “Wireless Leading Through Change
Eric Schimpf, FreedomPop “‘Freemium’ Business Model

Thank you 2017 Attendees & Sponsors

Thank you to all of our attendees and sponsors who made this event a success. We have been honored by the stream of compliments that have been received since we returned from the conference; we will be sending a survey via email, inviting attendees to provide feedback on the 2017 event.

Didn’t make it to the 2017 conference? Details on the 2018 NaLA Annual Conference will be released soon! The NaLA Annual conference is a great opportunity to collaborate with and learn from Lifeline Professionals. Due to the ever-changing nature of the industry, you don’t want to miss the chance to meet with Lifeline providers, vendors, suppliers, distributors and advocates to discuss the most relevant Lifeline topics!

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Jordan Majkszak2017 NaLA Annual Conference Presentations
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