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.

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

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