Money to Burn: Free Cell Phones Cost Consumers Over $1 Billion

September 28, 2012

The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering highlights costs of the FCC Lifeline Program.  Lifeline was originally created to provide free landline phone service to low income households for emergency and basic usage.  Since the mid-90s, it has been funded primarily by the Universal Service Charge included on all consumer phone accounts  But in 2008, the program was expanded to include free cell phones and service. 

The cost of the program skyrocketed from about $800 Million to more than $1.25 Billion, with evidence of wide-spread fraud.  There are proposals in both the House and Senate to reform Lifeline in order to return the program to its original intent, provide low cost basic phone service for those who need it most.  Spiering points to Rep. Tim Griffin’s video “Uncle Sam’s Unlimited Plan” for details.


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