The mission of the National Lifeline Association (NaLA) is to support the Lifeline Industry through “education, cooperation, and advocacy.” To further this goal, NaLA focuses on developing and implementing new self regulation processes. These processes strengthen the effectiveness of the Lifeline Program and bridge the digital divide for low-income Americans.
Self Regulation in Lifeline Industry
In the past three years, NaLA has grown from approximately 80 to more than 3,000 members. Represented within its member base are a variety of industry professionals, including Lifeline Providers (ETCs), Distributors, Agents, and other advocates.
Typically, Lifeline Providers, Distributors, and Agents approach self regulation individually. However, NaLA recognizes the benefit of resources that standardize Lifeline training and education. This realization led to development of a program for Lifeline Agent training, which launched in Spring 2018.
Launching the Agent Certification Program
The launch of the Agent Certification Program was a major milestone for NaLA. The training program—which provides education on industry standards, regulatory compliance and industry-specific best practices—offers Lifeline Providers (ETCs) a high quality resource for training their distributing agents.
The Agent Certification Program is already being utilized by nearly one dozen Lifeline Providers nationwide, and is in the process of expanding to include additional resources for internal compliance.
Recent Developments in Self Regulation of Lifeline
NaLA continues to build on these resources to assure the continued availability of the Lifeline Program, which is a critical tool in providing low-income Americans access to essential communication services.
In addition to providing training and education, the Agent Certification Program also establishes accountability between Agents and their Lifeline ETC partners. This accountability assists in promoting program integrity.
Future of Self Regulation of Lifeline
NaLA views the integrity of the Lifeline Program as a top priority, and continues to lead the industry with initiatives that support the Program’s success.
Through future developments in self regulation, NaLA is confident that the industry will be successful in realizing the vision for every American to have access to essential communication services.