The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has issued an Order directing a group of mobile service providers to provide data on customer usage and costs in order to assist the Commission in making informed policy decisions related to the Lifeline program, which provides support for qualifying low-income consumers. Specifically, it has asked the following companies to participate in this data collection: Deutsche Telekom AG, América Móvil, Quadrant Holdings Group LLC, TSC Acquisition Corporation, Telrite Corporation, Amerimex Communications Corporation, i-wireless, LLC, Global Connection Inc. of America., and Assist Wireless, LLC. These companies represent a significant portion of the Lifeline marketplace subscribership and will thus be able to aid the Bureau in developing its State of the Lifeline Marketplace Report.
Through a questionnaire, the Bureau will seek information on network costs, subscribership usage data, and overhead costs data. The Bureau has concluded that there is a compelling need for this data collection given the unreliable data produced by providers with respect to providing Lifeline services.