FCC Device Partnership, TracFone Settles Lawsuit, New FCC Leadership Hires

The FCC announced a partnership with a trio of companies to deliver devices under the Affordable Connectivity Program.

FCC Device Partnership, TracFone Settles Lawsuit, New FCC Leadership Hires
Photo of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

April 5, 2022 – Three tech companies are partnering with the Federal Communications Commission to provide 60,000 tablets to Americans as part of the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

The agency announced Tuesday that it has partnered with everphone, a tablet, smartphone, and laptop supplier that provides companies with devices and repair services through a monthly subscription, as well as network connectivity provider Go Technology Management, and EBF Inc, a mobile device management provider, to provide 60,000 Hyundai Technology tablets to underserved American households over a period of 12-months.

The ACP is an extension of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and provides to low-income families monthly connectivity subsidies and a one-time discount on the purchase of laptops, desktop computers, and tablets.

The general manager of everphone, Tillmann Schwabe, said that everphone is “incredibly proud to contribute to the Affordable Connectivity Program…Together with Go Technology Management and EBF we will help tens of thousands of American households bridge the digital divide, giving them access to the digital tools and information they need to be productive and successful in their daily lives.”

TracFone Wireless agrees to a multi-million-dollar settlement

The FCC announced Monday that, with the help of the Department of Justice, it has reached a $13.4 million settlement to resolve allegations against TracFone Wireless.

The FCC alleged in a press release that, between 2012 and 2015, TracFone violated the False Claims Act by signing up 175,000 ineligible customers for the FCC Lifeline program, which provides a discount on phone services to eligible citizens through the Universal Service Fund.

The press release blames Tracfone’s lack of oversight for the violation, saying the company did not have enough internal control and thus was unaware of the illegal actions of their sales agents in Florida, who targeted non-low-income veterans, law enforcement, and other non-eligible customers.

“Today’s settlement reflects the FCC’s ongoing commitment to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in its universal service programs,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.

The FCC announced Monday that Narda Jones will be the next chief of staff for agency Chairwoman Rosenworcel, while Priscilla Delgado Argeris will be the next chief legal advisor.

Jones, who previously held various senior positions in the FCC, is leaving her position at the White House as the director of legislative affairs for the Office of Science and Technology Policy to assume the new role.

Jones is replacing Travis Litman, who’s departure was also announced Monday.

Argeris, who was Rosenworcel’s legal advisor when she was commissioner from 2012 to 2015, is rejoining from Meta Platforms, the parent of Facebook, where she worked on spectrum policy issues.

Popular Tags