FCC Order Upholds USAC Decision to Deny “Duplicative” Lifeline Support


The FCC has released an order denying 14 separate requests for review filed by nine, non-facilities-based Lifeline wireless carriers.  Starting in 2012, the Commission began taking various steps to combat Lifeline program waste, fraud and abuse.  Specifically, the Commission adopted various orders and rule changes that prevented wireless eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) from impermissibly enrolling subscribers and then seeking Lifeline funding for the same customer more than once.   In its Order, the Commission found that when initially denying the duplicative reimbursement requests, USAC “took reasonable action, consistent with [FCC] guidance, in implementing the Commission’s rules and policies concerning duplicative Lifeline support in its duplicates check process.”  Additionally, the Commission found that the petitioners did not present sufficient evidence indicating that the subscribers at issue were separate eligible Lifeline subscribers and not duplicates.  The nine petitioning carriers were:  Assist Wireless, LLC; Boomerang Wireless, LLC; Easy Telephone Services Company d/b/a Easy Wireless; Global Connection, Inc. of America, LLC; Head Start Telecom, Inc.; i-Wireless LLC; Nexus Communications, Inc.; Telrite Corporation; and True Wireless, LLC.

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