The Federal Communications Commission Thursday proposed to fine TracFone Wireless $6 million for allegedly violating its rules governing the grant program for telecommunications services for low-income users.
The FCC stated TracFone apparently claimed federal funding for customers “who weren’t determined to be eligible for the program.”
The Lifeline program supplies a month-to-month discount of as much as $9.25 on broadband and phone service for qualifying low-revenue customers.
TracFone, a subsidiary of America Movil, stated it could respond at the appropriate time. “As the main provider of Lifeline services, we take our stewardship of public dollars seriously and will proceed to focus on connecting hundreds of thousands of low-income clients to school, jobs, healthcare, and essential social companies,” Movil said.
The FCC investigation learned that in 2018, TracFone apparently received federal support for lots of ineligible subscribers in Florida, along with utilizing “different addresses utilizing the same title, all seven of whom had birth dates in July 1978 and shared the same last four Social Security Number digits.”
FCC chair Ajit Pai stated, “we won’t sit idly by and let Lifeline carriers fabricate enrollment data to make extra sales.” Lifeline is funded utilizing Universal Service Fund money that comes from commissions assessed on phone bills.
Spending for the Lifeline program has dropped dramatically in recent times.