Lifeline program reform - national verifier
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Lifeline program reform - national verifier

Posted August 10th, 2018 by seanm

Access Humboldt files comments to FCC regarding Lifeline program

Today Access Humboldt joined the Open Technology Institute and a host of public interest groups in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Lifeline program reforms being implemented by the Universal Service Administrative Corportation (USAC). The filing is attached below, and these excerpts outline the issues raised:

"Commenters are concerned that failure to use the most modern technology that is simplest for consumers will harm the Lifeline program and the implementation of the National Verifier, and exacerbate the digital divide."

"Commenters support an interface that will clearly and easily direct consumers to the USAC
eligibility verifier and easily redirect consumers back to the provider of their choice once their
eligibility has been verified. For example, through an API, many commercial sites easily send
consumers from their own web sites to pay for products using PayPal and then send consumers
back to the original commercial web site.

"The current implementation plan appears to interfere with a smooth experience for applicants.
There is no apparent reason to avoid using APIs in the eligibility verifier, and the FCC and USAC
have revealed none."

Access Humboldt's executive director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said, "Lifeline is the universal service program designed to support telecommunications access for low income people - it is literally a lifeline for many folks who cannot afford the high cost of connectivity, and this is particularly true in remote rural communities like the Redwood Coast." He added: "California Public Utilities Commission manages a state Lifeline program that is more transparent and effective than the federal program - so we are hopeful the FCC will learn from experience to improve the delivery of Lifeline benefits to those who need them most."

For more information, contact Sean Taketa McLaughlin e:

Access Humboldt is a non-profit, community media & broadband access organization serving the residents and local jurisdictions of Humboldt County on the North Coast of California USA, managing resources that include: cable access TV channels; KZZH FM 96.7 community radio; a wide area broadband network with dedicated optic fiber connections to twenty locations serving local jurisdictions and community anchor institutions; broadband access wireless networks; a Community Media Center with studio and other production equipment and training on the Eureka High School campus; and ongoing operational support for public, educational and governmental access media services.


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