October 09, 2018
Partner John Heitmann
was quoted in the Washington Internet Daily
article “FCC Planned Lifeline National Verifier Launch in 6 States Concerns Providers, NARUC Official” and the Communications Daily article "FCC Planned Lifeline National Verifier Launch in 6 States Concerns Providers, NARUC Official." The Federal Communications Commission recently announced its plan to require the use of a Lifeline NV (national verifier) in six states without ensuring an electronic interface for carrier and database access to determine low-income consumer eligibility. Lifeline providers are concerned this will complicate eligibility verification, increase administrative costs, and make it more difficult for low-income consumers to enroll.
John, who represents the National Lifeline Association, stated that, “"Lack of a service provider API renders online enrollment virtually impossible -- shutting off the best way of reaching consumers in rural America. Lack of adequate database access in some states threatens to make it very hard for existing Lifeline subscribers to retain service. Immediate action is needed [to ensure the NV] helps consumers rather than harms them by making it too difficult for [them] to enroll and stay enrolled in Lifeline," he said, adding Universal Service Administrative Co.'s reverification requirements "place undue burdens on consumers."