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PRC Helps Lifeline Subscribers Re-Enroll After Purge

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Some New Mexicans may have been dropped by mistake from a federal program that aims to help people pay their phone bills.

"There was a big push after reports of fraud in the program to create a system where they could safeguard against that," said Mike Ripperger, telecommunications bureau chief with the state's Public Regulation Commission.

Ripperger said folks may have been disconnected after an audit revealed some people signed up for more than one phone line per household by using different carriers. That’s against the rules.

"The person finds out one day that their cell phone doesn’t work or otherwise that their landline doesn’t work," he said. "And so there’s a process—they’re trying to get ahold of the company. And they don’t understand sometimes."

It’s not clear how many people were kicked off the Lifeline program during the purge. 

But some subscribers may have been dropped by mistake. If that’s you, the Consumer Relations Division of the PRC can help you re-enroll. 

Call 1-888-4ASK-PRC. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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