Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a new argument on behalf of the agency stating it is not to be held accountable for reimbursing internet and phone carriers for providing subsidized services if the services are not in use.
The D.C. Circuit as well as the National Lifeline Association (NaLA) were not on board with the argument posed. To put this into perspective, the legal counsel for NaLA released an analogy, “Think of it like a hamburger. If the National Lifeline Association served a hamburger to each of the judges, and Judge Rao ate none of hers while Judge Edwards only ate half, and U.S. Circuit Judge Gregory G. Katsas finished his, the nonprofit would have still spent the same amount on each of those burgers.”
“My cost in serving those hamburgers is the same thing. I can’t take it back, and I can’t serve it to somebody else,” added John J. Heitmann, a legal representative for NaLA.
In having the carriers set forth a budget based upon its total number of subscribers each month; whether a subscriber uses the services provided or not, the carriers still lose money. Heitmann said a carrier can lose up to $34.25 for every user who doesn’t cure their nonuse within a 15-day span.
For more information, visit https://www.law360.com/telecom/articles/1319437/dc-circ-mulls-whether-lifeline-carriers-got-raw-deal
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