All posts tagged: USF

NaLA Statement on Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court Decision

“The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) applauds the 11th Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Federal Communications Commission’s use of Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) to administer USF programs, including Lifeline. This decision means that essential programs supporting low-income Americans who struggle to afford essential communications services necessary to participate in our digital society can continue. NaLA is proud to serve these consumers to ensure they can connect each and every month.” – David B. Dorwart, NaLA Chairman

More news on the decision can be found here.

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Statement on Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court Decision
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NaLA Submits Comments to Senate Universal Service Fund Working Group

Senate Universal Service Fund (USF) Working Group sought comments on program effectiveness and necessary reforms

As the only ecosystem-based organization focused on ensuring that low-income Americans have sustainable, affordable access to essential communications services, NaLA has submitted comments to the Senate Universal Service Fund (USF) Working Group focused on ensuring that low-income Americans have sustainably affordable access to essential communications each and every month. 

NaLA’s members include service providers, distributors, network access aggregators, compliance and software solutions vendors, device manufacturers, enrollment representatives, program supporters and beneficiaries invested in the future of the Lifeline and ACP programs. NaLA notes that wireless resellers play an important part in ensuring the success of these programs, including by serving over a third of all ACP subscribers.

The USF Working Group is seeking comments on the effectiveness of – and necessary reforms to – the programs funded by the universal service fund, which includes Lifeline.

Some highlights from the comments NaLA submitted:

  • NaLA submits that with ACP funding set to run out as early as April 2024, appropriated funding will be needed at least until USF reform can be accomplished.
  • NaLA proposes that either Congress and the FCC consolidate the Lifeline program with the ACP or reform both so that they better serve the goal of making essential communications services sustainably affordable each and every month.
  • NaLA recommends that any future low-income program should incorporate key program design elements from the ACP, including a robust monthly service and device benefits, technology neutrality, reasonable benefit transfer limits, and a safe harbor and entry requirements that encourage competition that translates into compelling choices and value for eligible consumers.  
  • NaLA maintains that program integrity can be preserved by conforming eligibility requirements and by reliance on the National Verifier which should be subject to continuous improvement and greater transparency.
  • NaLA submits that the effectiveness of a low-income support program should be measured by whether low-income households have sustainably affordable access to essential communications services. Adoption is a secondary benefit that can be addressed only in part by a low-income affordable connectivity benefit program.

The full comments, including an executive summary, are available here.

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Submits Comments to Senate Universal Service Fund Working Group
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Nathan Stierwalt Elected to NaLA Board of Directors for a Second Term

KENNETT SQUARE, PA. April 6, 2023. The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) is pleased to announce the re-election of Nathan Stierwalt to its Board of Directors. Mr. Stierwalt, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for PWG Network Solutions, is the first NaLA board member representing the carriers, phone suppliers, and phone manufacturer supply chains.

“I am very honored to have been re-elected by my peers for a second term on the NaLA Board of Directors,” said Mr. Stierwalt. “I look forward to continuing my work with this incredible organization and helping bring awareness to how the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs help low-income consumers access telemedicine, distance learning, potential employers, government assistance, and emergency services.”

NaLA is passionate about the continuity and advancement of the ACP and Lifeline programs and is committed to driving this vision through education, cooperation, and advocacy. As part of his role on the board, Mr. Stierwalt will provide valuable insight into how carriers, phone suppliers, and phone manufacturers can contribute to the organization’s overall mission.

David B. Dorwart, Chairman of the Board, said, “Nathan has been a driving force within NaLA since joining us in 2019, and we are thrilled that he has accepted another term on our board. His knowledge from both sides of the industry – carrier supply chain and device supply chain – makes him an invaluable asset to our mission.”

Mr. Stierwalt has over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and channel development at various telecommunications companies, including Cincinnati Bell, Powernet Global, and Global Connections of America dba StandUp Wireless. He currently serves as the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at PWG Network Solutions leading their sales and marketing efforts across all channels.

The National Lifeline Association is proud to have Nathan Stierwalt serve on its board once again for another three-year term. We look forward to seeing what other great things he will do with us.

To learn more about NaLA, visit: http://www.nalalifeline.org. 

About the National Lifeline Association (NaLA):

The National Lifeline Association (NaLA) is the only industry trade group specifically focused on the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) segment of the communications marketplace. NaLA works toward the preservation and advancement of Lifeline and the ACP through stakeholder engagement, education, collaboration and advocacy. We support all stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal: voice, text and broadband connectivity for all Americans. Through our ecosystem-wide membership that includes service providers, distributors, network access aggregators, compliance and software solutions vendors, device manufacturers, program supporters and beneficiaries, NaLA provides a platform to enable and realize of the goal of getting and keeping every low-income American connected to essential communications services. For more information on NaLA, visit https://www.nalalifeline.org.

More on Nathan’s reelection can be found here.

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Glen Echo GroupNathan Stierwalt Elected to NaLA Board of Directors for a Second Term
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NaLA Statement on Fifth U.S. Circuit Court Decision

“Today the Fifth Circuit court upheld the constitutionality of the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund (USF) and the agency’s use of Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) to administer USF programs, including Lifeline. NaLA is pleased with this decision as the USF and Lifeline in particular provides targeted support to low-income Americans who struggle to afford essential communications services necessary to participate in our digital society. NaLA is proud to serve these consumers and ensure they can connect to family, community, jobs, education, telehealth and other service using our members’ mobile voice and broadband solutions.” – David B. Dorwart, NaLA Chairman

More news on the decision can be found here.

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Glen Echo GroupNaLA Statement on Fifth U.S. Circuit Court Decision
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