In the Lifeline Reform Order (.pdf) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made sweeping changes to the Lifeline program. All Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) are now required to conduct an annual re-certification of their entire subscriber base.
47 C.F.R. §54.410(f) sets forth the processes and procedures that all ETCs must follow to annually certify that their Lifeline subscribers continue to be eligible for Lifeline services.
ETCs may also elect to have the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) conduct the annual re-certification process on their behalf.
To avoid unnecessary de-enrollment of eligible subscribers, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) supports ETCs’ use of the DHS database to validate eligible subscribers and reduce the number of Lifeline subscribers needing direct contact (August 5, 2014 Order, Docket No. P999/PR-14-20).
If an ETC is unable to re-certify a subscriber, it must follow the notification and de-enrollment procedures outlined in §54.405(e)(4).
ETCs are required to report the results of the annual re-certification to the Commission, the FCC, and USAC using FCC Form 555 (the Annual Lifeline Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Certification Form) by January 31 of each year. Form 555 and instructions are available on USAC’s website.
2014 annual re-certification results are due February 2, 2015 and should be submitted to the Commission in Docket P999/PR-15-20.