The US operator was fined $ 200 million for cheating millions of dollars in subsidies

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined T-Mobile US $ 200 million for its involvement in the fraud of millions of dollars in government benefits to support customers using phones with income. short.

FCC said that this is the biggest fine that this agency can apply to resolve an investigation. However, given the serious nature of the breach, T-Mobile may have no complaints. This fine is essentially related to activities performed by Sprint subsidiary before merging with T-Mobile. Although, prior to the merger, T-Mobile knew about the investigation, but did not expect the fine amount to be so large.

Even though the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is worth up to $ 26 billion, the $ 200 million fine is not too big, but not small.

The US operator was fined $ 200 million for cheating millions of dollars in subsidies

The FCC sanctioning stems from Sprint’s failure to comply with the rules set forth in the Lifeline Program, which is a US government assistance program that provides telephone and broadband services at a costly rate. suitable for low-income customers. This program allows a telecom company to collect a state subsidy of USD 9.25 per month for most customers using services that are eligible for subsidies. However, customers who are in the beneficiary category but do not use the service regularly, the network operator will not receive this allowance.

Meanwhile, an investigation by the FCC said that Sprint had requested the state a monthly subsidy for 885,000 non-service customers. Although the FCC did not disclose how much money Sprint illegally collected, it was a relatively large amount.

In this regard, FCC President Ajit Pai said in a statement: “The Lifeline program is a key program for our commitment to providing access to technical services. numbers are for low-income Americans and it’s especially important that we get the best out of the money people pay taxes on this important program. I am delighted that we are able to address this investigation in a way that sends a strong message about the importance of compliance with rules designed to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the program. Lifeline ”.

In its ruling, the FCC explained that Sprint voluntarily disclosed the problem and blamed a software related problem. Specifically, Sprint said that due to software programming problems, Sprint’s network did not detect that more than one million Lifeline subscribers nationwide were not using the service for a long time. and that has led to them still asking for subsidies from the government.

Phan Van Hoa(According to Telecoms)


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