The Lifeline program provides low-income Wisconsin residents affordable access to essential telecommunication services by discounting the cost of phone, cell and internet services. Providers that are designated as eligible telecommunications providers (ETCs) will be reimbursed for those discounts by the state and federal universal service funds.
The Lifeline program is governed by a mix of state and federal statutes and rule, including
47 CFR §54.400 and
Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 160.062. The Lifeline discount is determined by a combination of federal rules and state rules, specifically
Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 160.062(2g).
ETCs – except federal-only ETCs - may seek reimbursement for Lifeline discounts from the Wisconsin universal service fund. This is a two-step process. First, the ETC must file a copy of this spreadsheet, which calculates the discount and amount of reimbursement. Instructions are on the first tab of this
spreadsheet, which must be uploaded to the Commission's Electronic Records Filing (ERF) system in docket 5-LL-[year]. Once the amounts are approved by staff, ETCs may then request reimbursement from Solix, the administrator of the WI USF. ETCs may submit reimbursement requests via this
Lifeline providers must verify that all customers are eligible for the Lifeline discount by using the National Verifier and enrolling applicants in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Information on the National Verifier requirements can be found by viewing the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, specifically section
§54.410 Subscriber eligibility determination and certification.
National Verifier portal.
Questions or comments about the Lifeline program should be addressed to Peter Jahn at Peter.Jahn@wisconsin.gov.
Questions about using the ERF should be directed to the Records Management Unit at (608) 261-8521 or via email at PSCRecordsMail@wisconsin.gov.