On August 10, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a stay of the FCC’s 2017 Lifeline Order ("Order"). The court found that the petitioners provided enough evidence that the FCC did not consider the Order's significant impact on tribal customers. Specifically, the Order limited the eligibility to provide Lifeline to particular service providers and reduced eligible service areas to places considered to be "rural areas" to the exclusion of some tribal lands.
As a result of those new limitations, the petitioners contended that many tribal customers would lose access to telecommunications services. The court found that the petitioners had met the strict standards for obtaining a stay pending full appellate review of the Order.
Briefing will be completed on the current schedule, September 20, and the order granting the stay directed that the oral argument be scheduled on the first available date following the completion of briefing.