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Wicker Sets Hearing on FCC Lifeline Program

WASHINGTON — In the wake of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee, has scheduled a June 2 hearing.

Lifeline is a Universal Service Fund subsidy to provide basic communications service to low-income and hard to reach Americans. The FCC is migrating the fund from support of telephone service to broadband.

Wickers's office said the hearing would look at the efficiency and effectiveness of the program —the GAO advised it to evaluate those performance goals — and at preventing waste, fraud and abuse.

Scheduled to testify are Randy May, Free State Foundation; Michael Clements, GAO; Scott Bergmann, CTIA - The Wireless Association; Commissioner Ronald A. Brisé, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC); and Jessica Gonzalez, National Hispanic Media Coalition.

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.