As noted in our prior update, in November 2014, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice requesting industry comment on a Petition filed by TracFone Wireless regarding 911 fees charged to Lifeline subscribers. The Petition asked the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling on an emergency basis stating that state laws and regulations that impose 911 taxes and fees on Lifeline subscribers who receive no-charge (i.e., non-billed) wireless Lifeline service funded exclusively by the federal Universal Service Fund violate federal law. Comments were filed in December.
On March 13, TracFone filed a supplement to its Petition, requesting that the FCC, if unwilling to preempt state laws, commence a rulemaking proceeding to promulgate rule revisions that would prohibit any state from requiring ETCs to collect from its customers, state or local taxes on Lifeline services where the effect of such taxation would be to reduce the net Lifeline support received by the customer to levels below those mandated by the FCC.
We will update this blog entry if the FCC requests comment on the supplement.