NaLA Blog & Latest News

National Lifeline Association Names Q Link Wireless CEO To Board of Directors

The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) announced today it has appointed Issa Asad, founder and CEO of Florida-based Q Link Wireless to the organization’s board of directors. NaLA is the only organization focused on advancing the interests of Lifeline recipients, providers, and program advocates. Lifeline, the federally-run program that provides free data and voice service to low-income Americans, is administered by the United Service Administrative Company under the direction of the FCC. In his role as a board member, Mr. Asad will work to ensure the program continues to maintain and expand wireless service to the millions of Americans who rely on Lifeline for their connectivity.

Mr. Asad joins fellow telecommunications industry leaders on the NaLA board for a three-year term. He will work with his fellow board members on a number of urgent matters including the continuing role of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the Lifeline program; technological enhancements to Lifeline enrollment and eligibility verification; as well as the ongoing need for expanding the nation’s infrastructure to deliver wireless data and voice services.

“The Lifeline program began under President Reagan almost forty years ago,” said Mr. Asad. “However, today, the program faces a whole new set of challenges that pose a threat to the ability for low-income Americans to stay connected to their families, friends, and emergency services. We have much work to do to make sure bureaucracies don’t impede individual American’s need for basic data and voice services.”

Mr. Asad is a seasoned executive with nearly two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. He began his career in telecom working in prepaid phone services before he founded Q Link Wireless. Today, Q Link ranks as the third-largest Lifeline provider in the nation and serves more than two million customers. The company has been particularly instrumental in expanding Lifeline services to rural Americans through its novel, internet-based sales and marketing approach.

“I am extremely happy that Issa has made the commitment with his time to continue to support the Lifeline industry,” said David B. Dorwart, chairman of the National Lifeline Association. “Having Issa represent the industry as a board member provides the additional credibility our industry wants and needs to make effective long-term change for the customers we support and serve.”

Mr. Asad joins current NaLA Board Members: David B. Dorwart, board chairman & founder of NaLA; Steve Klein, president at SafetyNet Wireless; David Avila, associate vice president at SafeLink Wireless; Kimberly Lehrman, president & chief marketing officer at enTouch Wireless; Ali Badran, chief executive officer at Aiobo and MoreAble; and Nathan Stierwalt, chief sales & marketing officer at PWG Network Solutions.

About the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

The National Lifeline Association is the only industry trade group specifically focused on the Lifeline segment of telecommunications. We support the four essential components of Lifeline: ETCs & Providers, Distributors, Lifeline Participants & Supporters, and Government & Regulatory Bodies. We are passionate about the continuity and advancement of the Lifeline program and we drive this vision through our mission to “support providers, distributors, participants, and supporters of Lifeline through education, cooperation, and advocacy.”

For more information on NaLA, visit https://www.nalalifeline.org.

About Q Link Wireless:

Q Link Wireless, a Quadrant Holdings Company, is one of the nation’s leading providers of wireless voice and data service through the Lifeline Program. With more than two million customers, Q Link is wirelessly connecting people to the world around them, regardless of their income.

For more information on Q Link Wireless, visit qlinkwireless.com.


The official press release can be reviewed here.

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Chelsea BoylanNational Lifeline Association Names Q Link Wireless CEO To Board of Directors
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Sprint Supports Q Link’s Petition for Lifeline Enrollment APIs

In July 2018, Q Link Wireless filed an emergency petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to immediately change how people submit eligibility proof documentation when they enroll in the Lifeline Program with an ETC online. The FCC’s potential changes will make the online eligibility and enrollment process more difficult, discouraging customers who need Lifeline phone and data services.

Online Lifeline Enrollment Using Third-Party Verification

Many eligible consumers like veterans, seniors, and the disabled rely heavily on the online sign-up enrollment process. Because of the new third-party verification systems being implemented, consumers will have to work through a government-run website and then repeat the process to enroll with a specific carrier. This two-step process is unnecessary, and if the consumer needs help with the verification process, he or she would have to find an in-person sales agent.

“The USAC’s proposed change will be unnecessarily difficult and confusing for consumers,” said Issa Asad, founder and CEO of Q Link Wireless in a press release. John T. Nakahata of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP (counsel for Q Link Wireless) added, “The new eligibility confirmation process will differ significantly for rural consumers compared to urban consumers.” He explained,, “Rural consumers who attempt to enroll online in the Lifeline program must use the National Verifier’s consumer portal. By contrast, someone living in an urban area can more easily get assistance from an in-person agent. This will disproportionately and adversely affect rural Americans eligible to receive Lifeline services.”

Sprint Comments on Q Link Petition for Online Lifeline Enrollment APIs

Sprint Corporation (Sprint) filed comments agreeing that the FCC should grant Q Link’s petition and implement Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to consolidate the process to a single step. Sprint commented that APIs are essential for online enrollment and it will reduce costs for the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) National Verifier (NV).

Sprint says that because applying for Lifeline service in-person is not an option sometimes, APIs are critical for consumers who apply for Lifeline service online. Even with the assistance of a live agent, the process faces an uphill battle for consumers. “Without an API, a live agent cannot forward personal information provided by the consumer to the service provider to the NV, or receive information provided by the consumer to the NV; thus, the end user must enter his personal information twice (once to the NV for purposes of determining his Lifeline eligibility, and once to the ETC for purposes of applying for that ETC’s Lifeline service). This is not a user-friendly process and could discourage eligible low-income Americans from undertaking or completing the process for applying for Lifeline service.”

Cost Benefits of Online Lifeline Enrollment APIs

Not only will the use of API’s simplify the enrollment process for consumers, but it will reduce administrative costs for USAC National Verifier.

“The APIs will allow service providers to assist potential Lifeline customers in real time, including answering ETC-specific questions that USAC or other NV representatives cannot answer, and helping customers to submit a complete and legible application package. APIs will result in substantial savings in administrative and customer care expenses for the NV/USAC,” Sprint states in the filed comments.

Lifeline Providers work closely with potential Lifeline consumers to answer questions and ensure that their application is filled out properly. Lifeline Provider Assurance Wireless denies up to 75% of applications they receive because they were incomplete, incorrect or because the consumer was not eligible for Lifeline services. “Use of APIs will allow ETCs to continue to field many of the consumer inquiries, thereby reducing USAC’s costs of administering the Lifeline program and speeding up the eligibility determinations.”

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admin1Sprint Supports Q Link’s Petition for Lifeline Enrollment APIs
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