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FCC Unveils Lifeline Verification API

The FCC has launched a new API (application programming interface) that it says will make it easier for carriers to verify a potential subscriber's eligibility for the Lifeline program and thus make it easier for consumers to enroll. 

Lifeline is the Universal Service Fund subsidy of up to $9.25 per month carriers can get for each low-income resident. 

Related: GAO: FCC Should Better Monitor Fraud in High-Cost Program 

The API allows carriers to send applicant info directly to the FCC's National Eligibility Verifier for an eligibility check. The verifier is part of the FCC's effort to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse. 

“Lifeline is an important program for closing the digital divide for low-income Americans,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement. “By enabling carriers’ systems and the National Verifier to interact through this interface, we’ll make it easier for eligible consumers to enroll in the program. I’d like to thank the hardworking staff of the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Company, which administers Lifeline, for making this improvement to the National Verifier. Because of their efforts, Lifeline will be a more efficient tool for connecting some of our most vulnerable citizens to broadband.”

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.