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Tracfone to use Universal Service Fund in 10 states

Tracfone, America’s No. 1 prepaid wireless company, has ben granted eligibility to use the Universal Service Fund in 10 states and Washington, D.C. While U.S. Cellular is using the USF to branch into rural areas, Tracfone plans to use it in low-income areas. Because of the limited revenue opportunities, carriers don’t put much emphasis on those networks. A new study shows that making cell phone service available in these areas can create potential streams of revenue.

However, Tracfone will not receive all benefits of being an eligible carrier. From FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate:

“TracFone will not be eligible for support for Link Up or toll-limitation service under the low-income program, nor will it be eligible for high-cost support, or for schools and libraries and rural health care support,” she stated. “In addition, we impose additional requirements on TracFone that obligate it to implement certain 911 and E911 requirements, including administrative procedures to safeguard against waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Tracfone’s eligibility extends to New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Delaware, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.