On August 13, 2018, the FCC issued a Public Notice requesting comments on an Emergency Petition filed by Tracfone Wireless, Inc. (“Tracfone”) requesting the FCC expedite implementation of the National Eligibility Verifier (“National Verifier”). Specifically, Tracfone asks the FCC to accelerate the acquisition of information from key state databases (such as SNAP enrollment databases) and postpone the launch date of the National Verifier until after access has been secured. The information in the state databases is essential to verify consumers’ eligibility for Lifeline, the key purpose of the National Verifier.
Alternatively, Tracfone requests that the FCC permit USAC to accept eligibility documentation from third parties who have access to state databases where the National Verifier will not have direct access. Initial comments on the petition are due on September 12, 2018, and reply comments are due on September 27, 2018.