View Broadband: FCC Rulemaking on Lifeline Support on Tribal Lands

The Federal Communications Commission’s Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order takes a series of steps to address ongoing areas of concern in the Lifeline program to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. Specifically, the Orders target enhanced Lifeline support to residents of rural areas on Tribal lands, establish mapping resources to identify rural Tribal lands, require independent certification of residency on rural Tribal lands, and direct enhanced support to facilities-based providers. In addition, this document makes changes to increase Lifeline benefit portability by eliminating the port freezes for voice and broadband internet access services.

Published in the January 16 FEDERAL REGISTER, this document also clarifies that ``premium Wi-Fi'' and other similar networks of Wi-Fi-delivered broadband internet access service do not qualify as mobile broadband under the Lifeline program rules. Together, the Orders target enhanced Lifeline support for Tribal lands to support the deployment of modern communications networks, promote consumer choice within the program, and remove uncertainty and streamline our rules regarding the application of Lifeline support and eligibility for Lifeline reimbursement.