FCC Provides Lifeline Recertification Guidance

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The Federal Communications Commissions’ Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has issued guidance regarding implementation of the rolling recertification process established in the FCC’s 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.  In that order, the FCC adopted rules to change the Lifeline subscriber eligibility recertification process from once each calendar year to a rolling process based on each subscriber’s service initiation date.   The Bureau has clarified that the rolling recertification process must be completed 12 months following the subscriber’s service initiation date.  The Bureau stated that a carrier should begin its rolling recertification process for each subscriber with enough time to complete the de-enrollment process by the date 12 months after the subscriber’s service initiation date and strongly encouraged carriers to begin recertification within 150 days prior to the subscriber’s anniversary date.  The Bureau also clarified that the service initiation date is the date on which the subscriber began to receive Lifeline-supported service from the current Lifeline provider and provided guidance regarding the process for Lifeline providers to elect the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to perform Lifeline recertification for their subscribers in 2017.

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