On Feb. 27, the Public Utility Commission of Texas ("PUCT") circulated notice to eligible telecommunications carriers in Texas that it has been granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") to opt out of participation in the National Lifeline Accountability Database ("NLAD"). The NLAD is intended to detect and eliminate duplicate Lifeline support provided to individuals and households. Texas' opt out request was granted by default because the FCC failed to act on the PUCT's Petition (filed in Sept. 2012) within a 90-day period set forth in 47 C.F.R. § 54.404(a). The PUCT has long used its own state database to administer Lifeline support to low-income consumers in Texas.
To date, Texas and Vermont have been permitted to opt out of the NLAD. Opt out petitions filed by California, Oregon, and Puerto Rico in late November and early December remain pending. However, the 90-day period for FCC action on those petitions will soon expire.