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NaLA Establishes National Agent Coalition to Support Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment Representatives

Formation of agent coalition committed high standards of business for ACP and Lifeline agents

Today, the National Lifeline Association (NaLA) announces the establishment of the National Agent Coalition (NAC), the national trade association for distributors and representatives who conduct in-person enrollment into the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs (ACP).

NAC will serve as a voice for agents, who are on the front lines of bridging the digital divide through these programs. They will support the industry by providing resources for agents, increasing agent impact and ensuring eligible consumers are enrolled. The group will ensure enrollment efforts are conducted with the highest level of business standards and will meet on an ongoing basis to develop and maintain a rigorous Agent Code of Conduct, among other agent and distributor resources. 

The initial NAC includes seven members: 

  • Kristi Brown –– Community Outreach Partners
  • Calen Schultz –– Community Outreach Partners
  • Jon Sarver –– Sarver Corporation
  • Stephen Alexander –– PayGO Distributors
  • Carlos Camarena –– Moreable
  • Michael Fries –– Goodnight Marketing
  • Casey Lillie –– 1 Source Communications

“Programs like ACP and Lifeline are vital to connecting all Americans to broadband. Without our agents, we wouldn’t be able to get these programs in the hands of the people who need them the most,” says David B. Dorwart, Chairman of the NaLA Board. “Our agents are essential ambassadors for these programs and NAC will work to ensure that we continue to meet the high standards of customer service and excellence that both our members and we require.”

“Agents are an integral part of the equation and deserve a clear path to long-term success,” says Kristi Brown, NAC Committee Member and Managing Director for Community Outreach Partners. “We need to focus on what happens on the ground, just as much as we are on what happens at the policy and provider level. Implementation is key. We’ve developed NAC to uphold high standards of accountability and integrity with our enrollment representatives and to avoid any confusion around enrollment practices for consumers.”

“Collaborating across the industry is the only way we can make sure that we equip our agents with the tools they need to bring ACP and Lifeline to communities in need. Forming NAC will give us a chance to standardize our processes and do our due diligence to ensure success,” emphasized Calen Schultz, NAC Committee Chair and Managing Director for Community Outreach Partners

NaLA works toward the preservation and advancement of Lifeline and the ACP through stakeholder engagement, education, collaboration and advocacy. The Lifeline program and the ACP are federally-run programs that provide subsidized data, text and voice services to qualifying low-income Americans. The United Service Administrative Company administers both programs under the direction of the FCC.

To read more about NAC, visit: www.nalalifeline.org/nac-committee/

Read the official press release here.

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NaLA releases findings from 2022 Annual Consumer Survey

Results from more than 60,000 respondents indicate that consumers need affordable access to mobile wireless voice and broadband services to participate equally in all facets of daily life

NaLA’s Annual Survey of Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program subscribers – conducted between November 21 and December 8, 2022 provides insights into consumer demographics and experiences with FCC internet subsidy programs.

The survey results indicate that low-income consumers use Lifeline and/or ACP service to connect to family and to access other government programs, healthcare, jobs and online education.

2022 Key Takeaways

  • Consumers want and need mobile wireless: More than half of those surveyed said they would choose to have mobile and fixed broadband service if they could afford both, but 43% said mobile wireless services best meet their household needs. Only 2.5% of those surveyed say fixed broadband alone would suffice.
  • Voice, text and data are all essential. While nearly 80% of consumers surveyed value access to voice, text and data equally, consumers indicated making and receiving calls as the most important form of communication.
  • Consumers want choice and control of their benefits. More than 90% of those surveyed prefer having the ability to combine Lifeline and ACP support in order to get more robust benefits. This practice is currently prohibited in the state of California, but it’s clear consumers prefer to have the ability to combine benefits.
  • Low-income consumers need affordable access to more mobile broadband than they currently use on limited plans and budgets. More than 90% of consumers throttle their data usage over the course of the month because they cannot afford to purchase more on top of their capped plans.
  • No co-pay plans are essential to keeping low-income Americans connected. Nearly 95% of Lifeline and ACP subscribers say they cannot afford any additional payments toward wireless and broadband services. Lifeline and ACP are essential to keep low-income Americans connected.
  • Most Lifeline/ACP subscribers lack access to credit and are unbanked. More than half of Lifeline/ACP subscribers surveyed do not have a debit or credit card or a bank account.

“Imagine life without mobile wireless access to the internet in 2022. It’s nearly impossible to conceive of how a family could function. But without programs like Lifeline and ACP, many Americans would not have a phone number or an internet connection and would be cut off from society,” said David B. Dorwart, Chairman of the NaLA Board. “NaLA’s survey shows that the majority of Lifeline and ACP recipients live below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This means that our programs are working to bring connectivity to those who need help the most. It is crucial that lawmakers continue to support these programs to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to essential communications.”

The full results, including more insights into demographics, are available here. Download the one-pager of these highlights here. 

Read the official press release here.

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