FCC Fines AT&T Over Lifeline Violations
The FCC today levied fines against AT&T and SNET, a former subsidiary of AT&T's, for violating federal Lifeline regulations. The companies over billed the government program, which helps ensure low income consumers have access to a phone line. AT&T and SNET failed to remove ineligible customers from their records but billed the government for the accounts anyway. In particular, AT&T will pay $6.9 million and SNET will pay $4 million. Both companies will have to adopt vigorous compliance programs to ensure similar mistakes don't happen again. "American consumers trust that the companies who receive federal funds will use that money appropriately," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "We expect companies to be vigilant in protecting public funds and complying with FCC rules." The FCC has doled out tens of millions of dollars in fines so far this year through various enforcement actions. It fined AT&T earlier this month over privacy violations and it fined Verizon last month over a 911 outage.
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