• Lifeline Program

  • Background

    The LifeLine program provides subsidized wireline service for low-income households. Surcharges on telephone bills fund federal and state Universal Service Programs, which reimburse providers of LifeLine Services. In December 2010, a CPUC decision froze lifeline rates at $6.84 per month through January 2013.

    On March 20, 2011 the CPUC initiated a new rulemaking to implement revisions to the LifeLine program in order to reflect changes in the telecommunications industry and guarantee that high-quality services are affordable and widely available to all.

  • DRA's Policy Position

    DRA's objectives are to:

    • Update Customer Options: Require adjustments in the LifeLine program to address rate deregulation and the demand for other services (wireless, VoIP).
    • Extend Rate Caps: Maintain affordability after January 2013.
    • Set Limits: Establish clear limits for carrier subsidies to prevent the LifeLine fund from being overdrawn.
    • Maintain Service Standards: Protect the definition of basic service and incorporate high standards for both wireless and VoIP LifeLine providers, including the availability of 911 plans.
    • Retain COLR Responsibilities: Preserve the protections inherent in the role of "Carriers of Last Resort" (COLR).
  • Current Proceeding Status

    See the proceeding docket.

  • Other Resources