FCC Declares National Lifeline Accountability Database Operational

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) is up and running.  To combat fraud, waste, and abuse in the Lifeline program, one of the major reforms in the Lifeline Reform Order directed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to create a national “duplicates” database that includes information on every existing Lifeline subscriber.  Now that it is operational, all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must query the NLAD before enrolling a prospective subscriber in Lifeline service to determine on a real-time basis whether the individual is already receiving Lifeline service or whether someone at the individual’s residential address is already receiving Lifeline service.  The duty to query the database applies to all ETCs – Lifeline-only ETCs and high-cost ETCs.  There is no cost to an ETC, third party vendor, or state administrator to access the NLAD, and it is accessible online through an Internet web browser.  According to the FCC, the NLAD “already has identified $169 million in annualized savings by flagging existing duplicates for elimination while preventing enrollment of new duplicates.”

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