We love the Lifeline phone service program because it helps so many Americans who need a little assistance.
But as you might expect, there are those who will break the rules to take advantage of this outstanding program. That’s why we applaud the Federal Communications Commission for making it easier to track down the people who don’t play fair.
According to TelecomPaper.com, “The US Federal Communications Commission has enhanced protections in its Lifeline program to eliminate and prevent waste by checking that multiple carriers do not get support for serving the same consumer.”
An FCC research project determined that some subscribers are in violation of the program’s rules by receiving Lifeline-subsidized phones from more than one carrier. That is a direct violation of the rules, which state that only one Lifeline phone – either landline or mobile – is permitted in per household.
In the future, as soon as spot checks identify consumers with more than one Lifeline phone service account, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will notify those consumers that they have 30 days to choose which Lifeline phone service they want to keep.
“The company or companies not chosen by the consumer must de-enroll the consumer from Lifeline within five days after notification by USAC of the consumer’s choice,” TelecomPaper continued. “At the end of the process, consumers will have no more than one Lifeline phone service.”
Again, we applaud the FCC. Let’s get rid of the waste and fraud and make the free government cell phones program the best it can possibly be for those who legitimately need it.