The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced a new API for its Lifeline program. The Lifeline program provides discounts on phone service to low-income consumers. The API makes it easier for carriers to verify consumer eligibility through the FCC. In turn, eligible consumers will have a simpler enrollment process.
"Lifeline is an important program for closing the digital divide for low-income Americans," Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, recently commented. "By enabling carriers' systems and the National Verifier to interact through this interface, we'll make it easier for eligible consumers to enroll in the program."
The API connects participating carriers directly to the National Eligibility Verifier. The National Eligibility Verifier is charged with conducting eligibility checks for the Lifeline program. An API connection between carrier and verifier will greatly reduce the paperwork required between carriers, the verifier, and potential subscribers.
Eligible consumers can now receive up to $9.25 per month for broadband voice services. The program has been the subject of fraud and wasteful practices in the past, and an API verification process should help reduce these abuses. Consumers will soon be able to apply directly through their carrier, but can also apply through the Lifeline program portal.