In an interesting turn of events, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today decided not to adopt proposed rules that would have imposed a requirement that Lifeline ETCs either bill and collect a $5 minimum monthly Lifeline rate or offer a Lifeline plan that includes 500 monthly minutes. Instead, the PSC decided to put an “indefinite hold” on final action on such proposals, in order to allow it to weigh whether a database currently under development by the State Department of Human Services may provide an effective way for ETCs to determine (and the PSC to monitor) whether Georgia Lifeline applicants are eligible for the program.
The proposal that was put on hold today was the eighth in a series of Notices of Proposed Rulemaking that had been issued by the PSC since March 2012. In January 2013, the PSC actually voted to adopt a $5 minimum monthly Lifeline rate requirement, only to withdraw it from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office while it considered various alternatives and variations to the rule. At the PSC’s Administrative session today, no firm time frame was indicated as to when the PSC might reopen or revisit its Lifeline rule proceeding.