TracFone, Others Socked with $14.4M in FCC Fines
The Federal Communications Commission is levying fines against a handful of network operators that it says violated rules governing the Lifeline program. According to the FCC, Assist Wireless, Easy Wireless, Icon Telecom, TracFone, and UTPhone all allowed some consumers to obtain more than a single Lifeline subscription. Consumers are allowed only one line, and the FCC believes the carriers in question knew, or should have known, that the duplicate lines were being given to ineligible people. The Lifeline program provides free phones and service to low-income Americans. The FCC is taking the action in order to reduce waste. The five carriers are being fined a total of $14.4 million, with the damages ranging between $1.23 million and $4.8 million per carrier. TracFone responded to the FCC's punishment, claiming that fewer than 850 of its customers were involved, who totaled only $8,000 in duplicate billing. "With almost 4 million Lifeline customers, obviously this is a very small percent. We do not believe that our conduct violated any rules or that the proposed FCC action is warranted."
Oct 23, 2018
The FCC today proposed a fine of more than $63 million against American Broadband and Telecommunications Company for violating rules regarding the Lifeline program. The company, a wireless reseller based in Ohio, "improperly sought and received Lifeline funding by creating numerous ineligible Lifeline subscriber accounts."
Feb 22, 2018
The FCC today published its "Restoring Internet Freedom" rules governing net neutrality in the Federal Register. Per the filing, the agency will repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules effective April 23.
Jun 11, 2018
American consumers are no longer protected by the net neutrality regulations put in place in 2015 by the Obama administration. The rules were voted down by the Republican-led FCC in December 2017 and effectively evaporate today.
Nov 4, 2020
T-Mobile and the FCC have agreed to settle an FCC investigation started in September 2019 alleging that Sprint defrauded the US government by collecting approximately $8 million per month in Lifeline subsidies for 885,000 ineligible accounts. Lifeline helps low-income consumers afford basic phone and internet service.
Feb 20, 2018
The FCC is prepared to publish its order abolishing Obama-era net neutrality rules in the Federal Register on Thursday, the last act needed to put the change into effect. The rules will be made public in their final form on Wednesday, according to an unnamed source cited by Reuters, and will appear in the Federal Register the following day.