The FCC Wednesday proposed nearly $44 million in fines against three companies that it says violated commission rules protecting the Lifeline program against waste, fraud and abuse. The Lifeline progam provides cell phones and service to low-income consumers. 

Cintex Wireless, Telrite Corporation and Global Connection were all charged with having requested and/or recieved Lifeline support payments for customers who appeared on the the Lifeline subscriber lists more than once.  The FCC has propsed a fine of $9,461,978 against Cintex Wireless, $22,399,761 against Telrite Corporation and $11,702,695 against Global Connection. 

Added to the eight Lifeline enforcement actions brought by the FCC in the past 90 days, these three fines bring the total amount proposed to $90 million over that period. 

In October, the FCC conducted a review of the Lifeline program and subsequently proposed more than $14.4 million in forfeitures against five wireless Lifeline service providers who violated the rules.  

Those fines were issued against: Icon Telecom, Inc. ($4,806,381); TracFone Wireless, Inc. ($4,573,376); Assist Wireless, LLC ($2,203,977); Easy Telephone Services, Easy Wireless ($1,586,545); and UTPhone, Inc. ($1,234,456).