TracFone Wireless Inc. said it submitted comments today to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting efforts to reform and modernize Lifeline, but also cautioned that “negative unintended consequences easily could result from well-meaning, but misguided or poorly implemented, changes” to the vitally important program.
With about 4.4 million qualified low-income households currently enrolled in its SafeLink WirelessÂ® Lifeline program, TracFone is the nation´s leading provider of Lifeline-supported services.
TracFone underscored its key role in Lifeline and close working relationship with the FCC: “Over the past decade, TracFone has been a steadfast FCC partner in ensuring that the Lifeline program fulfills its intended purpose of providing our nation´s most impoverished households with a ´connectivity safety net´ that can lift them out of the cycle of poverty. The result is a system that has evolved and improved steadily, working well for millions of eligible beneficiaries. TracFone stands ready and willing to work with the Commission to undertake the latest endeavor to modernize and reform the invaluable Lifeline program without harming the existing beneficiaries.”
TracFone proposed two important reforms which would prevent program fraud. First, TracFone renewed its prior recommendation that the FCC prohibit in-person handing out of cell phones on street corners, out of car trunks, in front of government offices and other public locations. Second, TracFone has asked the FCC to forbid incentive-based compensation for agents marketing Lifeline services to consumers.
The full text of the TracFone comments to the FCC is available online at http://22.214.171.124/tracfone83115.pdf.