FCC’s Timing Of $51M Lifeline Action Draws Political Q’s

Law360, Washington (April 12, 2016, 6:21 PM EDT) -- The Federal Communications Commission’s announcement of a proposed $51 million fine against a Lifeline provider accused of fraud shows a willingness by the FCC to take aggressive action, but the agency’s timing also may demonstrate the role played by politics and messaging, experts said.

The FCC announced late Thursday night a record Lifeline notice of liability, or NAL, against Total Call Mobile for a litany of alleged abuses, including enrolling more than 30,000 duplicate individuals in the recently expanded low-income phone subsidy program. The FCC had voted to add broadband to the program days before, in late March.

The notice by...

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