Hurricane Irma Lifeline Waivers Granted

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The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has granted temporary waivers to i-wireless, LLC (i-wireless) and Telrite Corporation (Telrite) of the FCC’s Lifeline non-usage and recertification rules for Lifeline customers residing in Florida (for i-wireless) and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (for Telrite). In light of the service disruptions and outages that the Bureau was anticipating in these areas from Hurricane Irma, the Bureau found it to be in the public interest to temporarily waive for 90 days the FCC’s Lifeline recertification requirements and the rules requiring eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) to de-enroll certain Lifeline subscribers who do not use the service for 30 consecutive days. Though both Telrite and i-wireless had also sought indefinite waivers of these rules, the Bureau found 90 days to be an appropriate timeframe to accommodate the extraordinary circumstances of the hurricane’s impact.

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