The US telecoms watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has handed fines totalling USD14.4 million to five telcos for alleged violations of its Lifeline programme, which provides telephony services for millions of low-income households. Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) have been issued against Icon Telecom (USD4.81 million), TracFone Wireless (USD4.57 million), Assist Wireless (USD2.20 million), Easy Telephone Services/Easy Wireless (USD1.59 million) and UTPhone (USD1.23 million). The FCC said the violations stem from the thousands of consumers who have more than one Lifeline subscription with the same carrier, resulting in duplicate payments. It claims that operators knew, or should have known, about the multiple accounts.
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