2016-03-30 National Governors Association

NGA Urges FCC To Reject Proposal That Weakens States’ Authority

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today released the following statement urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject a proposal that would preempt states’ authority to designate eligible telecommunications carriers under the Lifeline program, which assists low-income consumers with broadband access.

“Governors call on the FCC to reject a proposed rule that would disrupt the existing state-federal partnership and preempt states’ authority to protect consumer interest by creating a third-party National Eligibility Verifier.

The Lifeline program has helped citizens across the country, but the FCC’s proposal would centralize oversight within the FCC, which has the potential to allow eligible telecommunications carriers to circumvent state scrutiny.

States play a key role in the Lifeline program and have been on the front lines to fight against waste, fraud and abuse since the program was conceived in 1985. Overturning 30 years of shared responsibility between federal and state regulators overseeing the Lifeline program puts low-income consumers at risk.

We urge the Commission to reject the Lifeline modernization proposal when it convenes March 31.”