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Open Recommendations

Telecommunications: FCC Has Implemented the Lifeline National Verifier but Should Improve Consumer Awareness and Experience

GAO-21-235
Jan 28, 2021
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6 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should develop and implement a plan to educate eligible consumers about the Lifeline program and Verifier requirements that aligns with key practices for consumer education planning. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should provide tribal organizations with targeted information and tools, such as access to the Verifier, that equip them to assist residents of tribal lands with their Verifier applications. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should identify and use performance measures to track the Verifier's progress in delivering value to consumers. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should ensure that it has quality information on consumers' experience with the Verifier's manual review process, and should use that information to improve the consumer experience to meet the Verifier's goals. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should ensure that the Verifier's online application and support website align with characteristics for leading federal website design, including that they are accurate, clear, understandable, easy to use, and contain a mechanism for users to provide feedback. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should convert the Verifier's online application, checklifeline.org, to a ".gov" domain. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Telecommunications: FCC Should Enhance Performance Goals and Measures for Its Program to Support Broadband Service in High-Cost Areas

GAO-21-24
Oct 30, 2020
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4 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should revise the high-cost performance goals so that they are measurable and quantifiable. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should ensure high-cost performance measures align with key attributes of successful performance measures, including ensuring that measures clearly link with performance goals and have specified targets. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should ensure the high-cost performance measure for the goal of minimizing the universal service contribution burden on consumers and businesses takes into account user-fee leading practices, such as equity and sustainability considerations. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should publicly and periodically report on the progress it has made for its high-cost program's performance goals, for example, by including relevant performance information in its Annual Broadband Deployment Report or the USF Monitoring Report. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Telecommunications: FCC Should Take Action to Better Manage Persistent Fraud Risks in the Schools and Libraries Program

GAO-20-606
Sep 16, 2020
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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should direct and coordinate with the Chief Executive Officer of USAC to comprehensively assess fraud risks to the E-rate program, including implementing their respective plans for developing periodic fraud risk assessments, examining the suitability of existing fraud controls, and compiling fraud risk profiles following the timelines described in this report. The assessments should be informed by the key fraud risks identified in this report from closed court cases, prior risk assessments, and OIG reports, among other sources. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should ensure that FCC and USAC follow the leading practices in GAO's Fraud Risk Framework when designing and implementing data-analytics activities to prevent and detect fraud as part of their respective antifraud strategies for the E-rate program. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should direct the Chief Executive Officer of USAC to clearly define and fully document the data fields in all relevant E-rate program computer systems to help improve FCC's ability to understand and use data to manage fraud risks. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

5G Deployment: FCC Needs Comprehensive Strategic Planning to Guide Its Efforts

GAO-20-468
Jun 29, 2020
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should develop, in coordination with NTIA and other relevant stakeholders, specific and measurable performance goals—with related strategies and measures—to manage spectrum demands associated with 5G deployment. (Recommendation 1)
Open
FCC agreed that it should set and achieve goals to facilitate the deployment of 5G, including making sufficient spectrum available. FCC indicated that its current 5G plan strikes a balance between setting goals and preserving flexibility without setting artificial benchmarks. GAO continues to believe that FCC can work with NTIA and other relevant stakeholders to set measurable performance goals with related strategies and measures without resorting to artificial benchmarks, and GAO will continue to monitor FCC's progress in setting them.
Federal Communications Commission The Chairman of FCC should develop specific and measurable performance goals—with related strategies and measures—to determine the effects 5G deployment and any mitigating actions may have on the digital divide. (Recommendation 2)
Open
FCC said that it adopted a report and order establishing a 5G Fund for Rural America on October 27, 2020. FCC believes this fund will address shortcomings in 5G deployment in rural areas and includes specific performance standards and reporting requirements. GAO is assessing FCC's efforts in this area.
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