T-Cell can pay $200M penalty to resolve Dash subsidies investigation

(GeekWire Photograph / Taylor Soper)

T-Cell can pay $200 million to the U.S. Treasury to settle an investigation associated to Dash’s compliance with the FCC’s Lifeline program for low-income prospects. It’s the most important fixed-amount settlement ever to resolve an FCC investigation.

Earlier than it merged with T-Cell earlier this yr, Dash claimed month-to-month subsidies for serving practically 900,000 Lifeline subscribers that weren’t really utilizing Dash, in line with the investigation. Suppliers get a $9.25 month-to-month subsidy for many Lifeline subscribers.

Along with the financial penalty, Dash is now below a consent decree to make sure adherence to the FCC’s guidelines for the Lifeline program.

“Lifeline is key to our commitment to bringing digital opportunity to low-income Americans, and it is especially critical that we make the best use of taxpayer dollars for this vital program,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai mentioned in a statement. “I’m pleased that we were able to resolve this investigation in a manner that sends a strong message about the importance of complying with rules designed to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program.”

The investigation originated from an inquiry by the Oregon Public Utility Fee.

“We are committed to ensuring underserved and low-income customers have reliable connectivity through programs like Lifeline, but also our T-Mobile Connect and Project 10Million offerings,” a T-Cell spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.

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