A Edmond telecom company under investigation by state regulators said Tuesday it wants to stop doing business under a program that helps low-income households pay for telephone service.
Icon Telecom Inc. advised customers to seek Lifeline service with other providers in the state, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Staff for the commission's public utility division criticized the move, saying the company should give at least 30 days notice to customers.
“A reasonable transition period will allow Icon's customers to retain their current number through number portability, thus ensuring quality, reliability and expediency when switching ETC (eligible telecommunications carrier) providers,” wrote Brandy Wreath, public utility division director.
Only the Corporation Commission can relinquish a company's state designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Icon's filing starts the process for the relinquishment.
In a statement, Icon said it filed separately with the Federal Communications Commission to notify it of the company's decision to stop providing Lifeline service in Oklahoma under a federal version of the program.
“This voluntary filing was prompted by a number of factors, including the costs of continuing to provide service and those associated with investigations and audits regarding Icon's subscriber enrollments,” the statement said. “During the course of these investigations and audits, Icon voluntarily has detected and corrected problems that will result in some reimbursements to the federal Lifeline fund. Icon has not received any reimbursements from the Oklahoma Lifeline fund.”
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