Latest Review of Lifeline Program Reforms: 135,000 More Duplicate Subscriptions to be Eliminated, Generating $15 Million Of Savings
Originally published: May 16, 2012
Last updated: May 5, 2013 - 9:44pm
As a result of comprehensive reforms of the Lifeline program over the last year, the Federal Communications Commission released new data about efforts to eliminate duplicate subscriptions and save tens of millions of dollars.
The data revealed another $15 million in savings will be gained by eliminating 135,000 duplicative subscriptions in three states: Missouri, New York and Washington. In 2011, FCC audits identified and eliminated over 270,000 duplicate Lifeline subscriptions, saving $35 million. The FCC is also moving ahead to develop a comprehensive subscriber database that, when launched in 2013, will safeguard against duplicate subscriptions. Overall, the Lifeline reforms to cut waste, fraud and abuse are expected to save $2 billion over three years.
In addition, the FCC on April 1 largely eliminated the “Link Up” program, which the Commission concluded had become wasteful and unnecessary. Link Up paid companies up to $30 for initial phone connections even though other companies are now enrolling new subscribers for free. Elimination of Link Up on non-Tribal lands is expected to save $100 million annually. Further reforms are helping ensure that only eligible consumers are enrolled, and will step up audits of Lifeline providers.
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