Today, the FCC Enforcement Bureau issued the latest batch of citations (sample citation) to individual consumers with multiple Lifeline accounts. To date, the Enforcement Bureau has issued a total of 275 citations to individuals in 11 separate batches over the past three months.
As we previously reported, on February 13, the Enforcement Bureau first took action against consumers for violations of the “one per household” rule that applies to Lifeline-supported services. In the first round of cases, each individual had ten or eleven Lifeline accounts with various ETCs and some had multiple Lifeline accounts with the same ETC. The most recent citations are somewhat less egregious violations, with each subscriber having five Lifeline accounts. The individuals receiving citations were ordered to cease and desist from applying for, or receiving, more than one Lifeline-supported service, and were threatened with monetary penalties for future violations.
It now appears that the Enforcement Bureau intends to continue to enforce the one-per-household rule against individual consumers with multiple Lifeline accounts. However, receipt of duplicate Lifeline support essentially will be eliminated once the FCC’s National Lifeline Accountability Database comes online later this year.