At a prehearing conference on May 28, 2015, and in written comments due May 22, 2015, carriers will have a chance to weigh in on how the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) should prioritize outstanding issues relating to the California LifeLine program.  In 2014, in CPUC Rulemaking No. 11-03-013, the CPUC issued an order modernizing the California LifeLine program that extended California LifeLine support to wireless service.  Now, the CPUC is prioritizing the outstanding issues from Phase I of that rulemaking, and has set a prehearing conference for May 28, 2015 to receive comments on prioritizing those issues.

The issues to be discussed at the prehearing conference include a number of key issues that could result in significant changes to the California LifeLine program.  These issues include streamlining the approval process to reduce hurdles to service providers, as well as the development of an alternative application process that would let consumers seeking California LifeLine benefits to apply directly to the California LifeLine Administrator, rather than to a carrier.  Among the other issues to be addressed are applicant privacy, outreach strategies, service quality standards, extension of the program to consumers without social security numbers, and ways to measure the success of the program.  Commenters may also propose additional issues.  However, the prehearing conference will not address issues concerning Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), which are slated to be addressed in the second phase of the rulemaking.

Details on the issues set for discussion may be found in the notice of the prehearing conference.