Wireline Competition Bureau Releases Order Extending Lifeline Waiver in PR and USVI
The Wireline Competition Bureau has released an Order granting in part the petition of Telrite Corporation (“Telrite”) to extend the Bureau’s temporary waiver of the Lifeline Program’s recertification and non-usage rules in Puerto Rico and the USVI through May 31, 2018. The Bureau agrees that the damage caused by the Hurricanes has made it difficult for Lifeline subscribers in these areas to receive, or respond to, messages from their Lifeline provider or USAC to complete the recertification process or to receive notice of non-usage, and without the extension, such subscribers may be de-enrolled due to no fault of their own and during a critical recovery time when communications services are needed the most.
Pursuant to this extension and in combination with the Bureau’s previous waivers, ETCs must begin the 60-day notice period for recertification by April 1, 2018 for any subscribers whose anniversary dates fall from September 7, 2017 through May 31, 2018. Any subscriber whose anniversary date falls within the waiver period but has already recertified their eligibility or is recertified through an eligibility database is not required to undergo an additional recertification at the end of the waiver period, and any subscriber who had previously de-enrolled from the program must re-enroll pursuant to the Commission’s rules. Any subscriber whose anniversary date falls after May 31, 2018, must be recertified pursuant to the timeline established in the Commission’s rules.
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