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Florida PSCApril 11, 20061 Florida Public Service Commission WORKSHOP A P R I L 1 1, 2 0 0 6.

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Presentation on theme: "Florida PSCApril 11, 20061 Florida Public Service Commission WORKSHOP A P R I L 1 1, 2 0 0 6."— Presentation transcript:

1 Florida PSCApril 11, Florida Public Service Commission WORKSHOP A P R I L 1 1,

2 Florida PSCApril 11, Agenda Introductions Reading of the Notice Brief History of Link-Up & Lifeline Existing Commission Outreach Efforts 2006 Florida Lifeline & Link-Up Legislation Options to Increase Enrollment Presentations – Q & A Concluding Comments

3 Florida PSCApril 11, Brief History of Link-Up and Lifeline Federal Actions 1984 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Lifeline Program Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the Act) - Section 214 (e) (1) of the Act requires that in order to be designated as an Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETC) for the purpose of receiving universal service funding, a carrier must: Offer the services that are supported by the federal universal support mechanisms using its own facilities or a combination of its own facilities and resale of another carriers services. Advertise the availability of such services and the charges for those services using media of general distribution.

4 Florida PSCApril 11, Federal Actions 1997 FCC Report and Order on Universal Service in Common Carrier Docket No , FCC established the goal for Link-Up and Lifeline. To enable consumers to obtain, and retain, basic local telephone service at just, reasonable and affordable rates. The definition of affordability contains both an absolute component ("to have enough or the means for"), which takes into account an individual's means to subscribe to universal service, and a relative component ("to bear the cost of without serious detriment"), which takes into account whether consumers are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on telephone service.

5 Florida PSCApril 11, State Actions 1994 The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) established the Lifeline Program through issuance of Order No. PSC FOF-TL approving Southern Bells Lifeline tariff. The order allowed eligible Southern Bell subscribers to receive up to $7.00 in Lifeline assistance ($3.50 federal and $3.50 state).

6 Florida PSCApril 11, State Actions 1995 The FPSC approved the Lifeline tariffs of the remaining Incumbent Local Exchange Companies (ILEC) The FPSC adopts the FCC Lifeline Program which extends an additional $1.75 to Lifeline subscribers The FPSC adopts the remaining $1.75 of FCC Lifeline support with state matching support of $3.50.

7 Florida PSCApril 11, State Actions 2003 The Florida Legislature enacts The Tele-Competition Innovation and Infrastructure Enhancement Act of The Act requires that by December 31, 2003, each state agency that provides benefits to persons eligible for Lifeline shall, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Education (DOE), the Florida Public Service Commission, the Office of Public Counsel (OPC), and telecommunications companies providing Lifeline service, develop procedures to promote participation in Lifeline. The Act requires the FPSC to report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 31 each year on the number of customers subscribing to Lifeline service and the effectiveness of procedures to promote participation in the program.

8 Florida PSCApril 11, State Actions 2005 The Florida Public Service Commission issued Order No. PSC AS-TL, approving proposals filed by BellSouth, Sprint, and Verizon to implement a simplified Lifeline and Link-Up certification process. This order also established a one-year trial period to allow all parties to assess the costs associated with the simplified certification process and determine the corresponding benefits in terms of increased Lifeline program participation. The National School Lunch Free Lunch Program was added as eligibility criteria for Link-Up and Lifeline. The Income-based eligibility criterion was increased to 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

9 Florida PSCApril 11, PSC Lifeline Outreach Program Cornerstone of the Outreach Program has been building partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, organizations, and businesses that have contact with eligible individuals. Outreach Partners offer vital assistance in distributing Lifeline information.

10 Florida PSCApril 11, Lifeline Outreach Filming and Broadcast of Commissioner Lifeline Educational Segments in English and Spanish Recording and Broadcast of Commissioner Radio Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish Training Presentations at Statewide Professional Conferences Educational Displays at Community Events

11 Florida PSCApril 11, Lifeline Outreach Back-to-School Lifeline Project Connect Florida Campaign ACCESS Florida Web Site Lifeline Information Haitian Creole Lifeline Application New Brochure including Lifeline Application PSC Web Site Lifeline Information Updates

12 Florida PSCApril 11, Link-Up & Lifeline Legislation SB 314 – The PSC would be charged with adopting rules to provide for an automatic enrollment process to make sure eligible customers receive Lifeline service. SB 322 – Require monthly reporting of Lifeline subscribers to the PSC, OPC, and Legislature. SB Add Lifeline criteria for a person 65 years of age or older meeting an income eligibility test at 175% or less of the federal poverty guidelines.

13 Florida PSCApril 11, Options to Increase Enrollment Partner with DCF for Lifeline Paperless Enrollment. Establish targets on ETCs for Link-Up/Lifeline participation. Implement a similar process as Colorado. Implement a similar process as Rhode Island. Implement a similar process as New York. Awareness Initiatives.

14 Florida PSCApril 11, Partnership with DCF Once a client has been deemed eligible to receive food stamps, etc., DCF would forward a list of the clients who qualify on a weekly basis to the appropriate ETC. The client would then be immediately enrolled in the Lifeline program.

15 Florida PSCApril 11, Establish Targets An annual target to increase Link- Up/Lifeline enrollment would be established, per ETC.

16 Florida PSCApril 11, Colorado Process A prospective Lifeline customer calls the Department of Human Services 800 number, provides his telephone number, social security number and qualifying program. Staff uses their on-line database to confirm eligibility, then places the client on a list which is sent to the phone companies every Friday. The phone companies then automatically enroll the person.

17 Florida PSCApril 11, Rhode Island Process When signing up for a social services program, a potential Lifeline applicant automatically receives a postcard stating that he/she is eligible for Link-Up/Lifeline. The potential applicant just has to drop it in the mail to the phone company and the person is enrolled in the program.

18 Florida PSCApril 11, New York Process An agreement was consummated between Verizon and the social service agency to allow Verizon to do a computer match between eligible clients on the social service agencies file and Verizons own customer database. When customers are matched they are automatically enrolled in Lifeline. They are sent a letter informing them that they have 30 days to decline.

19 Florida PSCApril 11, Proposed Awareness Initiatives Marketing Oversight (Target Audiences) Public Service Announcements & Messaging Grassroots Media Outreach Train-the-Trainer Program

20 Florida PSCApril 11, Proposed Awareness Initiatives Outreach Advisory Committee Lifeline Awareness Week Strengthen Existing & Build New Partnerships FCC Lifeline Working Group Recommendations

21 Florida PSCApril 11, Presentations Public Utility Research Center (PURC) The Office of Public Counsel (OPC) American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Florida Cable Telecommunications Association (FCTA) Florida Public Telephones Association (FPTA) KMR Consultants BellSouth/Linking Solutions Verizon Sprint TDS NEFCOM PURC OPC KMR BellSouth Verizon Sprint TDS AARP FPTA FCTA NEFCOM

22 Florida PSCApril 11, Concluding Comments Post Workshop Comments Due Date

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