Earlier today, USAC announced the official launch dates of the National Verifier.
Soft Launch in December 2017
The National Verifier will soft launch in December 2017. A soft launch is a period that allows service providers to transition their operations to the National Verifier in advance of the hard launch.
USAC recommends that service providers use the soft launch period for testing, and to make sure existing processes and systems align with the National Verifier.
Service providers can rely on the National Verifier for eligibility determinations during the soft launch. Additional system enhancements may occur between the soft launch and the hard launch.
Consumers will not have direct access to the system during the soft launch; they must continue to sign up for Lifeline through a service provider during this period.
Hard Launch in March 2018
The National Verifier hard launch will be in March 2018. Starting on the hard launch, service providers must use the National Verifier in select states to determine initial subscriber eligibility, and the National Verifier will conduct annual eligibility recertification. Also, consumers can use the National Verifier to verify their own eligibility prior to contacting a service provider.
Other Key Milestones
USAC is working on data-use agreements with state and federal agencies, and plans to announce the initial states for the National Verifier by August 30, 2017.
We will release technical specifications iteratively and as soon as possible, starting in August 2017.
Training materials, including user guides and system demonstrations, will be available starting in October 2016. Final versions of the user guides will be available prior to the soft launch.