On Dec. 1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will cease providing monthly support for Lifeline subscribers who do not meet the Minimum Broadband Service Standards (MBS Standards) in their service plans.
Formally, the FCC would provide a monthly benefit for subscribers who had voice services and/or broadband services. This new change means the FCC will de-enroll many Lifeline consumers.
If you have a broadband plan that provides you with 25 Mbps download speeds, or greater, you meet the MBS Standards. Or, if your service plan is equal to the maximum available broadband delivery speeds to your residence, you will meet the MBS Standards. If you are uncertain of the details of your plan, please contact the Chickamauga Telephone Corporation (CTC) at 706-375-3195.
One further announcement for current Lifeline subscribers: The FCC is expected to reinstate annual recertification procedures on April 1, 2022. Should you receive a contact from the Lifeline Program administrators requiring you to certify that you remain qualified to participate in Lifeline, please do not ignore this message but proceed with haste to produce required documents and send them to the Lifeline Program.
The Lifeline Program enables eligible subscribers to pay reduced rates for residential broadband service plans via monthly billed credits on CTC service bills. To receive a Lifeline discount, an individual must meet an eligibility criterion such as participating in one of the following federal assistance programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Medicaid; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Public Housing Assistance Section 8 (FPHA) and Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits. An additional qualifying option is for the household gross monthly income not to exceed 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. [47 C.F.R. §54.409 (b)]
Other terms and conditions apply to Lifeline. For example, customers must apply for Lifeline, provide the required qualification documentation, and be prepared to verify the continuing accuracy of the qualifying information annually. During this current time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCC has suspended annual requalification until April 1, 2022. A qualifying household may be granted only one Lifeline enrollment at a time. In addition, as long as a qualified individual agrees to toll limitation, that individual is not required to pay a deposit prior to the activation of their service. A complete set of terms and conditions for this program is available at CTC’s local business office at 300 Thomas Avenue, Chickamauga, Georgia, or you may contact CTC by dialing 706-375-3195.
Lifeline applicants may apply for Lifeline benefits online using the Consumer Portal. Begin this process by visiting https://nationalverifier.service-now.com/lifeline. The Consumer Portal may also be used to update your personal data pertaining to Lifeline and complete any recertification requests. Applicants may visit the CTC office to receive assistance in completing a paper application which must be mailed to the Lifeline Program. You can download a Lifeline Program Application by visiting www.chickamauga.com and clicking on the Lifeline link.