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Thread: Verizon: Tracfone Customers Can Keep Current Plans Including Lifeline

  1. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by loboheeler View Post
    From what I remember, Safelink provides limited talk/text/data for no additional cost to the customer. My state of California has other plans and some do have additional cost. The Cali plan has unlimited talk/text with data allowance depending on if they provided a free phone.
    My daughter has a Lifeline through Assurance Wireless (Virgin Mobile/T-mo). If I remember correctly, it started out with a candy-bar phone and 250/250/??? MB, then went to 500/500/500MB, then 500/unlimited text/1GB with a cheapy free smartphone. When the pandemic started, it went to 1000/Unlimited/4.5GB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Tweaking the funding source and giving providers more than $9.25/mo. for the Minimum Service Standard are two separate and different things. The FCC revises the Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) fee level quarterly and has since at least 2000. The FUSF is what funds the Lifeline program. The FCC adjusts the the FUSF rate to collect the amount they need to fund all of the FUSF programs. Lifeline "Obama" phones are the smallest part of the several FUSF projects.



    That is incorrect. The FUSF fee is imposed on all interstate voice communications revenues. That includes traditional landlines, cable landlines, VOIP and cellular services even if you don't see a separate line item for it on what you pay. The FCC does not have the power to impose fees on intrastate phone service. That is the bailiwick of the states.



    There has been no increase in the $9.25/mo. payment to service providers for the Lifeline phone program since 2016. However, what has happened in telcom since then? Paying customers have overall been getting more for less. There is no reason to believe that the $9.25 payment rate needs to be increased. No providers have indicated that they are leaving the Lifeline program.

    https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/...is/5762068002/
    That article is a year old and contains speculation that did not happen.

    "The $9.25 rate hasn’t changed since 2016, when Lifeline’s minimum service standards (MSS) were created. That’s a deal-breaker for service providers."

    Didn't happen.

    "Plans including that much data cost $25 to $40 per month, said lawyer John J. Heitmann, who represents the National Lifeline Association (NaLA), who included the prices of dozens of companies in a letter to the FCC.

    “There is simply no evidence in the docket to suggest that a 50% increase in the required mobile broadband data – with no corresponding increase in subsidy support – can be provided without forcing a copay on consumers,” Heitmann wrote."

    That's a blatant strawman argument. Lifeline providers cannot force a copay on their customers to provide the Minimum Service Standard. They can either take the standard payment or decline to participate. Nobody has declined to participate that I have heard of.

    There is no crisis in the Lifeline program and no justifiable reason to impose requirements on Verizon about it that are not imposed on other Lifeline providers.[/QUOTE]

    https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers

    How Lifeline Works

    Lifeline provides up to a $9.25 monthly discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers and up to $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Tweaking the funding source and giving providers more than $9.25/mo. for the Minimum Service Standard are two separate and different things. The FCC revises the Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) fee level quarterly and has since at least 2000. The FUSF is what funds the Lifeline program. The FCC adjusts the the FUSF rate to collect the amount they need to fund all of the FUSF programs. Lifeline "Obama" phones are the smallest part of the several FUSF projects.



    That is incorrect. The FUSF fee is imposed on all interstate voice communications revenues. That includes traditional landlines, cable landlines, VOIP and cellular services even if you don't see a separate line item for it on what you pay. The FCC does not have the power to impose fees on intrastate phone service. That is the bailiwick of the states.



    There has been no increase in the $9.25/mo. payment to service providers for the Lifeline phone program since 2016. However, what has happened in telcom since then? Paying customers have overall been getting more for less. There is no reason to believe that the $9.25 payment rate needs to be increased. No providers have indicated that they are leaving the Lifeline program.


    That article is a year old and contains speculation that did not happen.

    "The $9.25 rate hasn’t changed since 2016, when Lifeline’s minimum service standards (MSS) were created. That’s a deal-breaker for service providers."

    Didn't happen.

    "Plans including that much data cost $25 to $40 per month, said lawyer John J. Heitmann, who represents the National Lifeline Association (NaLA), who included the prices of dozens of companies in a letter to the FCC.

    “There is simply no evidence in the docket to suggest that a 50% increase in the required mobile broadband data – with no corresponding increase in subsidy support – can be provided without forcing a copay on consumers,” Heitmann wrote."

    That's a blatant strawman argument. Lifeline providers cannot force a copay on their customers to provide the Minimum Service Standard. They can either take the standard payment or decline to participate. Nobody has declined to participate that I have heard of.

    There is no crisis in the Lifeline program and no justifiable reason to impose requirements on Verizon about it that are not imposed on other Lifeline providers.
    Lifeline gets no funding from fixed broadband or mobile broadband and that's how a whole LOT of voice is being transported these days. I can talk to friends in Europe for hours at no charge at all and not contribute a penny to lifeline or any other Government funded program. So in fact the way the world works now has skipped right past paying into the funding source.

    Some States kick in State funds to subsidize the program. California, Florida and Kentucky are three I am aware of from reading, I'm sure there are others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    My daughter has a Lifeline through Assurance Wireless (Virgin Mobile/T-mo). If I remember correctly, it started out with a candy-bar phone and 250/250/??? MB, then went to 500/500/500MB, then 500/unlimited text/1GB with a cheapy free smartphone. When the pandemic started, it went to 1000/Unlimited/4.5GB.
    They are suckering people into using their EBB for the paltry wireless benefit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    They are suckering people into using their EBB for the paltry wireless benefit.
    Some people fell for it, but not us. We have my daughter's EBB applied to our Internet bill and knocks $50 off each month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Some people fell for it, but not us. We have my daughter's EBB applied to our Internet bill and knocks $50 off each month.
    One person getting both subsidies? I though it was either or.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    One person getting both subsidies? I though it was either or.
    EBB is a temporary program, in addition to Lifeline. If one applies it to cell service, then he gets unlimited (not sure about Data) while EBB is in effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    Dang. Wish I could get that deal. I'd even pay a full $10/mo.

    My current TotalWireless is 25GB for $25 (x4 lines sharing data). 18GB would be more than enough and for less than half the price? Sign me up.
    Skye posted this link at Turk Forums today
    https://bestmvno.com/total-wireless/...le-data-promo/

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Skye posted this link at Turk Forums today
    https://bestmvno.com/total-wireless/...le-data-promo/
    Well that's more than I pay for 25GB/line.

    The 4 line plan is $100 for 100GB shared, so $25 and 25GB per line.

    18GB would be enough and I'd gladly pay the lifeline subsidy for that, even a full $10 (instead of $9.25).

    The link you posted isn't close to that lifeline plan. 11GB for $35. More than 3x the price for 1/3 less data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    EBB is a temporary program, in addition to Lifeline. If one applies it to cell service, then he gets unlimited (not sure about Data) while EBB is in effect.

    EBB is being replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Fund, which is funded by Congress not fees as lifeline is. This will be a $30 dollar a month subsidy that is permanent as long as your income level remains at or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty level which in 2021 was $25,760/year. This initially has $14.2 billion in funding.

    EBB still has $2.7 billion of the $3.2 billion it started with several months ago.

    https://www.fiercetelecom.com/regula...3-2b-available

    https://www.newamerica.org/oti/repor...covery-growth/

    The FCC has long warned that the USF’s contribution system is unsustainable. In 2010, the FCC said expanding the contribution was necessary to sustain the Lifeline program. In 2012, the commission worried about “a shrinking pool of contributors” shouldering a growing financial burden and argued for “an improved system that will adapt to market changes and stabilize the contribution base.” A decade later, the system still hasn’t changed. Landline and wireless phone providers still pay into the system, the contribution factor adjusts quarterly based on what the USF programs require, and the USF fee risks becoming increasingly regressive. Broadening the base of companies that pay into the system to include other telecommunications companies—such as broadband providers—is one potential reform. It is time for the FCC to address this long-standing issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid View Post
    the USF fee risks becoming increasingly regressive.
    Here we go again.

    Everyone paying the same fee for the same service is regressive.

    Nevermind that higher income people tend to have more expensive plans this paying higher USF fees.

    And won't taxing other providers still be regressive? $50k/yr or $200k/yr you still, pay the same for internet service. The companies don't charge based on income, it's based on service level just like cellular.
    Last edited by ST Dog; 09-21-2021 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    Here we go again.

    Everyone paying the same fee for the same service is regressive.

    Nevermind that higher income people tend to have more expensive plans this paying higher USF fees.

    Smd won't taxing other providers still be regressive? $50k/yr or $200k/yr you still, pay the same for internet service. The companies don't charge based on income, it's based on service level just like cellular.
    This is more to the point. The story links to where the FCC made these statements. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the FCC knows more about the funding issues than anyone here.

    The FCC has long warned that the USF’s contribution system is unsustainable. In 2010, the FCC said expanding the contribution was necessary to sustain the Lifeline program.

  13. #148
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    Any updates on the Verizon/TracFone acquisition?

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