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U.S. Proposes Fine Under Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a massive fine against a Florida-based broadband provider for fraudulently obtaining funds intended to provide broadband devices and services to eligible low-income households.

According to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, the Commission has proposed a penalty of $62 million against Q Link Wireless LLC for violations of requirements under the federal Emergency Broadband Benefits (EBB) Program. In its Notice, the Commission alleges that Q Link, as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC), offered an EBB-eligible connected device known as the Scepter 8, that was exclusively available through Q Link, and then sought and received reimbursement for each device under the EBB well in excess of the market value.

In the end, the FCC estimates that Q Link received excess reimbursement of more than $20 million under the EBB program during the period of the FCC’s investigation. The proposed forfeiture penalty reflects the Commission’s assessment that treble damages are warranted in this case.

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Read the complete text of the Commission’s Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Q Link Wireless.

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