On May 16, 2013 the Georgia PSC released the eighth
in a series of Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPRs)
since March 2012, to add a new obligation that every Lifeline subscriber “provide documented proof of eligibility as part of its annual FCC mandated recertification.” FCC rules, by contrast, only require proof of income level or participation in a qualifying program upon initial sign-up. The proposed Georgia requirement would be added to the $5 Lifeline minimum monthly rate requirement that, as previously reported
, the PSC adopted on January 16-- but which still has not taken effect, due to the fact that the Commission continues to revise the proposed rule changes. The latest version of the Georgia rules would: (1) require Lifeline ETCs to either
“bill and collect” a $5 minimum monthly Lifeline rate or
offer a Lifeline plan that includes 500 monthly minutes; (2) allow ETCs to bill and collect the $5 minimum rate on a quarterly rather than monthly, basis; and (3) require the ETCs to obtain documentation of eligibility from each subscriber annually at the time of the FCC-mandated recertification. If adopted, these requirements would take effect on October 1, 2013. Comments on the latest NOPR are due June 6; oral argument will be held on June 13; and the PSC is scheduled to consider final action on June 18.