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Annual Lifeline Re-Certification Process

In the Lifeline Reform Order (.pdf) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made sweeping changes to the Lifeline program. All 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 Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) must follow to annually certify that their Lifeline subscribers continue to be eligible for Lifeline services.

On May 22, 2013, the FCC issued a public notice (PN) (.pdf) providing guidance regarding the 2013 Lifeline recertification process. The PN describes the process by which  ETCs may elect to have the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) perform the recertification process. If the ETC elects to perform its own annual re-certification, it must follow procedures compliant with §54.410(f). To avoid unnecessary de-enrollment of eligible subscribers, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) supports ETCs’ use of the DHS database to verify eligibility (see PUC Order (.pdf) Docket No. P-999/M-12-1315).

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).

The results of the annual re-certification must be submitted to the Commission, the FCC, and USAC by January 31 of each year. Annual re-certification results due January 31, 2014 should be submitted to the Commission in Docket P999/PR-14-20.