All posts tagged: NOI

AARP, NASCUA & Greenlining Institute File Comments Opposing FCC Lifeline NRPM

AARP, NASCUA, and other groups join the list of organizations filing replies to the FCC Lifeline NRPM. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) propose changes to the Lifeline Program, such as barring wireless resellers from operating as Lifeline Service Providers.

AARP and NASCUA Oppose FCC Lifeline NRPM

The AARP was among those who filed comment on the FCC Lifeline NPRM, expressing concern for the consumers and the marketplace. “If implemented, this change would dramatically alter the current marketplace and significantly reduce consumer choice,” their comment stated.

AARP pointed out that ”numerous commenters are similarly critical of the 2017 NPRM proposal to ban resellers from participation in the Lifeline program,” including NASCUA who argued in their NPRM comments that the proposed ban on resellers is not the ideal solution to any waste, fraud, or abuse that exists in the program due to its potential harm to consumers, calling the ban “an unreasonably blunt tool”.

Comments Filed by the Greenlining Institute Opposing FCC Lifeline NRPM

The Greenlining Institute, an organization that advocates for racial and economic justice, also expressed concerned about the reseller ban’s affect on low-income American consumers. They stated, “This proposal will cause irreparable harm to the program and low-income households, particularly households of color. Approximately 70% of current Lifeline participants will need to find a new provider if the Commission adopts this proposal. However, for many of those potentially affected, they may not be able to even find a facilities-based provider (FBP) willing to offer Lifeline service.”

Additional Comments Filed on FCC Lifeline NRPM

Some of the other organizations who also filed comments include Sprint, TracFone, Verizon, CTIA, the Texas Coalition of Cities for Utility Issues, FCC Commissioner Clyburn, members of Congress, the City of Boston, as well as several other state and local entities.

 

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admin1AARP, NASCUA & Greenlining Institute File Comments Opposing FCC Lifeline NRPM
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Lifeline Advocates Urge FCC to Reconsider Proposed Program Changes

On October 26th, the FCC published the upcoming November 16 public meeting agenda, which calls for some significant changes to the Lifeline Program, which provides affordable communication services to low-income Americans.  Advocates of the Lifeline Program are now voicing their concerns about some of the proposed rules, which will mainly aim to:

  • Direct Lifeline Funds & Enhanced Lifeline Support to Facilities-based Providers
  • Adopt a Self-enforcing Budget Cap
  • End States’ Role in Designating ETCs
  • Redefine Tribal Lands as Rural
  • Eliminate LBP Designations

Responses to FCC Proposals for Lifeline Program

Advocates of both the Lifeline Program and the FCC’s commitment to “bridge the digital divide” have expressed concern over many of the potential changes, and are seeking FCC reconsideration.

CTIA, an organization that represents the U.S. wireless communications industry (and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem) that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life, voiced some of their concerns in a letter to Chairman Pai, yesterday:

“While CTIA remains committed to working with the Commission to strengthen the Lifeline program’s administration, some of the changes proposed in the draft Lifeline item would negatively impact millions of low-income consumers who rely on wireless supported Lifeline services. As the Commission moves forward an agenda designed to close the digital divide, CTIA urges the Commission to recognize that Lifeline, especially wireless Lifeline, remains a critical tool that enables low-income consumers to access 21st Century occupational, educational, health and public safety communications.”

[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.nalalifeline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CTIA-Lifeline-FCC-NPRM-NOI-Response-Letter-11082017.pdf”]

 

Additionally, NaLA has activated a task force of highly qualified industry experts and advocates, who are working hard to ensure the continuity of the Lifeline Program. This task force is charged with handling the outreach, communication, collaboration, and education required to inform lawmakers and constituents aware of the proposed changes and what they can do to support the program and protect the Lifeline Program participants.

NaLA Member and Lifeline Advocate Support

Our members and supporters have already begun efforts to protect the low-income Americans who participate in the Lifeline Program. Access to telecommunications services provided by this program connect low-income Americans with emergency services, employment, education, childcare, and healthcare.

NaLA appreciates its members contributions to this cause; donate now to assure the continuation of the Lifeline Program or read more on the FCC’s proposed changes.

About CTIA

CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. CTIA also coordinates the industry’s voluntary efforts to provide consumers with a variety of choices and information regarding their wireless products and services. CTIA also hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and coordinates the industry’s efforts to provide consumers with a variety of choices and information regarding their wireless products and services as well as the industry’s voluntary best practices.

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Lee SchaferLifeline Advocates Urge FCC to Reconsider Proposed Program Changes
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