Today’s Regulatory Mix: New California Law Allows Multiple Lifeline Accounts Within a Household, Over $1.1 Billion Committed in Second Wave of ECF Funding

New California Law Allows Multiple Lifeline Accounts Within a Household

Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) has signed a bill that would allow multiple state Lifeline accounts within the same household. Existing law requires that a Lifeline service subscriber be given one Lifeline subscription at the subscriber’s principal place of residence. It provides that no other member of that subscriber’s family or household who maintains residence at that place is eligible for Lifeline telephone service. Senate Bill 394 law clarifies that individuals with the same physical address can have separate California Lifeline Program subscriptions if they are separate economic units. This will improve eligibility requirements for multiple households sharing the same physical address, including foster children, individuals in transitional housing, senior citizens in assisted living residences, and households in tribal communities. As explained by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), the bill’s sponsor, “Californians in shared households are also part of communities that have been the hardest hit by both the illness and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated the extent to which telecommunications access is critical to participating in the economy and accessing a variety of essential services, including health care, education, and public assistance.”


Over $1.1 Billion Committed in Second Wave of ECF Funding

The FCC announced that it is committing $1,159,681,350.34 in the second wave of funding for 2,471 schools, 205 libraries, and 26 consortia that applied for support from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. To date, $2,362,788,847.22 has been committed to help purchase of laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connections for use by students, school staff, and library patrons. “This new round of funding will connect even more students and library patrons with new tools for online learning and communicating with teachers in our ongoing work to close the Homework Gap,” said Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. The funding can be used to support off-campus leaning, such as homework and virtual learning, during the pandemic.


The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.