The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
In a recent speech before the American Enterprise Institute, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn discussed her ideas for modernizing the FCC’s Lifeline universal service program for the broadband era. Commissioner Clyburn said that “adding broadband to Lifeline is a necessary but insufficient step” and proposed the following five principles to guide Lifeline program reform.
- Get “the most bang for our universal service buck” by relying on market forces to encourage competition but also establishing minimum service standards for any provider that receives the $9.25 Lifeline subsidy.
- Relive providers of the responsibility to determine customer eligibility for Lifeline. This will shore up the integrity of the program by further eliminating incentives for waste, fraud and abuse.
- Encourage broader participation through a streamlined approval process by eliminating any unnecessary barriers that discourage provider participation in Lifeline.
- Leverage efficiencies from existing programs and institute a coordinated enrollment with other federal programs such as SNAP.
- Use public-private partnerships and coordinated outreach efforts.