The Commission published in the Federal Register the Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization Report and Order, Order and Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order adopted in the November Open Meeting. In this item, the Commission makes changes to the Lifeline rules to ensure that the program can more effectively and efficiently help close the digital divide for low-income consumers and Tribal lands, while attempting to minimize the contributions burden on ratepayers by tackling waste, fraud, and abuse. The Commission also targets enhanced support for Tribal lands to support deployment, promote consumer choice, and streamline the application and reimbursement rules.

The rules adopted in this item will become effective February 15, 2018, with the exception of § 54.411 (eliminating the port freeze rule for voice and broadband Internet access service), which will become effective March 19, 2018. Sections 54.403(a)(3), 54.413, and 54.414 (amended to support and include Tribal lands and residents through the “Tribal Link Up” program) contain information collection requirements that require OMB approval, and will become effective at a later date.

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