*Pages 1--8 from Microsoft Word - 58119.doc*
PUBLIC NOTICE Federal Communications Commission News Media Information 202 / 418- 0500 445 12 th St., S. W. Internet: http:// www. fcc. gov Washington, D. C. 20554 TTY: 1- 888- 835- 5322 ______________________________________________________________________
DA 06- 1391
DEADLINE FOR ANNUAL LIFELINE VERIFICATION SURVEYS
Release Date: July 3, 2006
Each year, eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) are required to verify the continued eligibility of a statistically valid sample of their Lifeline subscribers. 1 Under the terms of the Lifeline
Order, states that have their own state- based Low Income programs are required to have established procedures concerning verification procedures. 2 These state procedures should include how ETCs should
verify continued eligibility and to whom the results should be submitted. 3 States that do not have state-based low- income programs are designated “federal default states.” ETCs in federal default states must
follow the certification and verification procedures set out in the Lifeline Order. 4
In this Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau announces that an ETC in a state with its own state- based Low Income program must submit a certification, signed by an officer of the company to
USAC by August 31, 2006, attesting that the ETC has complied with the state verification procedures. All ETCs in federal default states must also submit their annual Lifeline verification survey results to
USAC by August 31, 2006.
The Wireline Competition Bureau and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) have also received several inquiries concerning the Lifeline certification and verification procedures. In
this Public Notice, we therefore provide answers to frequently asked questions.
The full text of this document is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, S. W., Room CY-A257,
Washington, DC, 20554. This document may also be purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, S. W., Room CY- B402, Washington,
D. C. 20554, telephone (202) 488- 5300, facsimile (202) 488- 5563, or via e- mail at FCC@ BCPIWEB. COM. To request this document in an accessible format for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e- mail to fcc504@ fcc. gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418- 0530 (voice), (202) 418- 0432 (TTY).
For more information, contact Mark Seifert, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418- 7400, TTY (202) 418- 0484.
1 Federal- State Joint Board on Universal Service Lifeline and Link- Up, WC Docket No. 03- 109, Report and Order
and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 8302 (2004) (Lifeline Order).
2 Id. at 8322, para. 33.
3 Id. at 8324, para. 37.
4 Id.
1
Certification and Verification Procedures
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which states are “federal default states”?
Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Hampshire, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands have identified themselves as “federal default states.” 5 If your state is not
included in this list, you should contact the state commission for its certification and verification procedures. If a state changes its designation, the state commission should notify the Federal
Communications Commission.
2. What is the deadline for filing the results of the statistically valid sampling of Lifeline customers for purposes of verification and how should filings be made?
For federal default states, all verification sampling results must be submitted to USAC by August 31, 2006. ETCs in federal default states should submit a signed paper copy of the results to:
Universal Service Administrative Company Attention: Pam Gallant, Director of Low- Income Programs
2000 L Street, NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036
Carriers wishing to file a signed copy electronically may send a .pdf file to . The verification results and certification must be
signed by an officer of the ETC. 6
If an ETC in a federal default state does not receive replies from all of its sample recipients, the ETC should note the number of outstanding replies on its submission separate from those found to be
ineligible and update the verification results upon completing the survey. Updates must be submitted to USAC by October 31, 2006. ETCs need only submit one update.
3. How do ETCs in states that have their own state- based Lifeline and Link- Up programs comply with the verification survey deadline?
ETCs in states that have their own state- based Lifeline and Link- Up programs must comply with their states’ certification and verification procedures, including any deadlines set by those states. ETCs
must also send USAC a certification indicating that they have complied with state verification procedures. 7 These certifications must be submitted by August 31, 2006. USAC will post a sample
certification to their website to assist ETCs.
5 Id. at 8355, Appendix G. Since the release of the Lifeline Order, additional states have notified USAC of the
change in their status. The list in this Public Notice represents the most current information available. USAC will update its website as the list is updated. See .
6 Id. at 8323, para. 35.
7 Id. at 8324, para. 34.
2
4. My state has its own state- based Lifeline and Link- Up program. The state’s Lifeline verification procedures direct ETCs to submit their verification results to USAC. Is this
permissible?
Yes. States with state- based Lifeline and Link- Up programs may either (1) collect the verification results on a date that the state chooses or (2) direct ETCs in their states to send the verification results
to USAC. 8 If companies are submitting the results to USAC, they should do so by August 31, 2006. Results submitted directly to USAC will be processed in the same manner as those received from
ETCs in federal default states.
5. How should the verification sample be taken?
In federal default states, the verification sample should be drawn from the company’s Lifeline customers on a state- wide basis, not on a study area or nation- wide basis.
ETCs in states that have their own state- based Lifeline and Link- Up programs should consult the state verification procedures.
6. How do I determine the number of customers that constitutes a statistically valid sample?
As explained in Appendix J of the Lifeline Order, the size of a statistically valid sample is based on (1) the number of Lifeline subscribers and (2) the percentage of Lifeline subscribers that
inappropriately took Lifeline service in the immediate prior year. 9 Using these two numbers and the chart attached to Appendix J of the Lifeline Order (and attached to this Public Notice), ETCs can
determine how many Lifeline subscribers should be surveyed. 10 Values for the number of Lifeline subscribers are listed in the first column. Values for the percentage of inappropriate Lifeline
subscribers are listed in the first row. By plotting the intersection of the two values, the ETC can determine the number of Lifeline subscribers that constitutes a statistically valid sample.
To calculate the statistically valid sample size:
a. Determine the current number of Lifeline subscribers: (a). ____________.
b. Determine the number of Lifeline subscribers that were surveyed last year. (b). _____________.
c. Determine the number of Lifeline subscribers that were surveyed last year that had their service terminated because they were found to be inappropriately taking Lifeline: (c)._____________.
d. Divide line (c) by line (b), which is the percentage of surveyed Lifeline customers that were found to be taking Lifeline inappropriately: (d). _________________.
8 Lifeline Order, at 8322, para. 34.
9 Lifeline Order, at 8365, Appendix J. In the first year of verification, all ETCs assumed that the percentage of
subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline was one percent or .01. Thereafter, ETCs use actual figures to determine the percentage of subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline.
10 Id. Under the terms of the Lifeline Order, companies can calculate its sample size directly by using the formulas
set out in footnote 13 of Appendix J.
3
e. Go to the chart in Appendix J (attached to this Public Notice). Using the figure in line (a), find the closest value, rounding up to the nearest value. For example, if the ETC has 730 current
Lifeline subscribers, the ETC should use the row for 800 subscribers.
f. Now find the appropriate column in Appendix J that corresponds to the percentage in line (d). If the percentage is less than .01, use the column for .01. If the percentage is greater than .06, use
the column for .06. For percentages between .01 and .06, round up to the nearest half percent. For example, if the percentage in line (d) is .043, use the column marked “. 045.”
g. Find the number that is at the intersection of the row determined in step (e) and the column determined in step (f). This is the number of current Lifeline subscribers that the ETC must
survey this year.
7. Last year, several Lifeline subscribers in my statistical sample did not reply. How should I account for that in determining the appropriate sample size for this year’s survey?
If an ETC terminated Lifeline benefits because a consumer failed to respond, that subscriber should be included in the calculation of the proportion of those inappropriately taking Lifeline. 11
By way of example: Last year, an ETC had 10,000 Lifeline customers. Its survey size was 43 Lifeline subscribers. There was one non- respondent, whose Lifeline benefits were terminated after
the appropriate termination procedures were completed. In addition, there was one customer determined to be inappropriately taking Lifeline. The proportion of those inappropriately taking
Lifeline would be:
2 / 43 = 0.047 or 4.7 percent.
Under the directions included in Appendix J, the ETC should round up to the closest percentage listed in the chart, which would be 0.05 (or 5 percent) in the example above. This year, the ETC still has
10,000 Lifeline customers. The ETC should use the figure at the intersection of the row for 10,000 customers and the column for 0.05 percent, which is 202. This year, the ETC in the example should
survey 202 current Lifeline customers.
8. Should I include in my statistical survey customers who received the special temporary Hurricane Katrina Lifeline support package?
No. When determining the number of Lifeline participants and sending out surveys, only include those customers that receive the regular Lifeline support.
11 Id.
4
APPENDIX J
STATISTICALLY VALID SAMPLE
Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) subject to the federal default criterion will be required to verify the continued eligibility of a statistically valid sample of their Lifeline
customers. The size of a statistically valid sample, however, varies based upon many factors, including the number of Lifeline subscribers (N) and the previously estimated proportion of
Lifeline subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline service (P).
For the first year that ETCs verify subscribers’ continued eligibility, all ETCs should assume that the proportion P of subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline service is .01, if there is no
evidence to assume a different proportion. In subsequent years, ETCs should use the results of samples from previous years to determine this estimated proportion. In all instances, the
estimated proportion P should never be less than .01 or more than .06.
For ETCs with large numbers of Lifeline subscribers (more than 400,000), a statistically valid sample size must be calculated pursuant to the following formula: 12
Sample Size = 2.706 * P*( 1 – P) / .000625.
For ETCs with 400,000 Lifeline subscribers or less, the above formula could yield a sample size that is larger than needed to be statistically valid. 13 To simplify the calculation of a statistically
valid sample, a table of sample sizes based on two variables N (number of Lifeline subscribers) and P (previously estimated proportion of Lifeline subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline
service) is provided below. Various numbers of Lifeline subscribers N are listed in the left- most column. Various previously estimated proportions P are listed on the first row. To determine the
sample size, find the box that matches your number of Lifeline subscribers N and proportion P.
If the number of Lifeline subscribers is not listed and/ or the proportion is not listed, ETCs should use the next higher number for N and/ or P that is in the table, i. e. always round up to the next
higher value for N and/ or P. For example, if 3.8 percent of 9,500 Lifeline subscribers inappropriately took Lifeline service, the ETC would use a sample size of 164 (value using
10,000 customers and proportion .04). Because the adjustment for the number of Lifeline subscribers is de minimus above 400,000 Lifeline subscribers, ETCs with more than 400,000
Lifeline subscribers must use the above formula to calculate the sample size.
All ETCs must provide the estimated proportion for their samples to the Administrator, i. e., the proportion of sampled subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline service.
12 Lifeline Order, at 8365- 68. The values 2.706 and .000625 in this formula are mandated by OMB. See Office of
Management and Budget, Memorandum M- 03- 13 (May 21, 2003).
13 Id. Sample sizes for ETCs with 400, 000 Lifeline subscribers or less are calculated pursuant to the following
formula: sample size = N/( 1+{[ N- 1]/ n}). N is the number of Lifeline subscribers and n = 2. 706 * P*( 1 – P) / .000625, where P is the previously estimated proportion of Lifeline subscribers inappropriately taking Lifeline
service. ETCs may choose to calculate their sample sizes using these formulas.
5
Sample
Size
Table
Previously
Estimated
Proportion
of
Subscribers
Inappropriately
Taking
Lifeline
Service
(P)
14
(N)
Number
of
Lifeline Subscribers
0.01
0.015
0.02
0.025
0.
03
0.
035
0.04
0.045
0.
05
0.
055
0.06
400,000
43
64
85
106
126
146
166
186
206
225
244
100,000 15
43
64
85
105
126
146
166
186
206
225
244
90,000
43
64
85
105
126
146
166
186
205
224
244
70,000
43
64
85
105
126
146
166
186
205
224
243
60,000
43
64
85
105
126
146
166
185
205
224
243
30,000
43
64
85
105
125
146
165
185
204
223
242
20,000
43
64
85
105
125
145
165
184
204
223
241
15,000
43
64
84
105
125
145
164
184
203
222
240
10,000
43
64
84
104
124
144
164
183
202
220
238
9,000
43
64
84
104
124
144
163
182
201
220
238
8,000
43
63
84
104
124
144
163
182
201
219
237
7,000
43
63
84
104
124
143
162
181
200
218
236
6,000
43
63
84
104
123
143
162
180
199
217
235
5,000
43
63
83
103
123
142
161
179
198
215
233
4,000
42
63
83
103
122
141
160
178
196
213
230
3,000
42
63
83
102
121
139
158
175
193
209
226
2,000
42
62
81
100
119
136
154
170
187
202
218
14
Id.
For
the
first
year
of
verification,
ETCs
should
assume
that
this
percentage
is
.01,
if
there
is
no
evidence
to
assume
a
different
percentage.
In
subsequent
years,
ETCs
should
use
the
results
of
samples
from
previous
years
to
determine
this
estimated
percentage.
15
Id.
Sample
sizes
for
ETCs
with
less
than
400, 000
Lifeline
subscribers
are
calculated
pursuant
to
the
following
formula:
sample
size
=
N/( 1+{[
N- 1]/
n}).
N
is
the
number
of
Lifeline
subscribers.
n
is
(2. 706
*
P*( 1
–
P))
/
.000625,
where
P
is
the
estimated
percentage
of
Lifeline
subscribers
inappropriately
taking
Lifeline
service.
ETCs
may
choose
to
calculate
their
sample
sizes
using
these
formulas.
6
7
Sample
Size
Table
Previously
Estimated
Proportion
of
Subscribers
Inappropriately
Taking
Lifeline
Service
(P)
(N)
Number
of
Lifeline Subscribers
0.01
0.015
0.02
0.025
0.
03
0.
04
0.
04
0.
045
0.05
0.55
0.06
1,500
42
61
80
99
116
133
150
166
181
196
210
1,000
41
60
78
96
112
128
142
157
171
184
196
900
41
60
78
95
111
126
140
154
168
180
192
800
41
59
77
94
109
124
138
151
164
176
187
700
41
59
76
92
107
121
134
147
159
170
181
600
40
58
74
90
104
118
130
142
154
164
174
500
40
57
73
88
101
113
125
136
146
155
164
400
39
55
70
84
96
107
118
127
136
144
152
300
38
53
66
79
89
98
107
115
122
129
135
200
36
49
60
70
78
85
91
97
102
106
110
150
34
45
54
62
69
74
79
83
87
90
93
120
32
42
50
57
62
66
70
73
76
78
81
100
30
39
46
52
56
60
63
65
68
69
71
90
29
38
44
49
53
56
59
61
63
64
66
80
28
36
41
46
49
52
54
56
58
59
60
70
27
34
39
42
45
48
49
51
52
54
55
60
25
31
35
39
41
43
44
46
47
48
48
50
23
28
32
34
36
37
39
40
40
41
42
40
21
25
27
29
31
32
32
33
34
34
34
35
20
23
25
27
28
28
29
30
30
30
31
30
18
21
22
24
24
25
26
26
26
27
27
25
16
18
19
20
21
21
22
22
22
23
23
20
14
15
16
17
17
18
18
18
18
18
19
7
8
Sample
Size
Table
Previously
Estimated
Proportion
of
Subscribers
Inappropriately
Taking
Lifeline
Service
(P)
(N)
Number of Lifeline Subscribers
0.01
0.015
0.02
0.025
0.
03
0.
04
0.
04
0.
045
0.05
0.55
0.06
17
12
14
14
15
15
15
16
16
16
16
16
15
11
12
13
13
13
14
14
14
14
14
14
13
10
11
11
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
11
9
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
11
11
10
8
9
99999
10
10
1010
9
8
8
8
889
9
9
9
99
8
7
7
7
888
8
8
8
88
7
6
6
7
777
7
7
7
77
6
5
6
6
666
6
6
6
66
5
5
5
5
555
5
5
5
55
4
4
4
4
444
4
4
4
44
3
3
3
3
333
3
3
3
33
2
2
2
2
222
2
2
2
22
1
1
1
1
111
1
1
1
11
8