Millions of Americans Who Didn't Qualify Claimed U.S. Lifeline Phones
February 13, 2013 9:53 AM
comment(s) - last by
Carriers say most people drop simply didn't respond to requests
The United States government has collected a tax on phone lines under the Lifeline program that began back in 1984. The purpose of this tax was to provide phone service for people who were unable to afford it on their own to ensure that these people weren't cut off from emergency services, jobs, or family. Every American citizen who has a phone line has paid into this Lifeline program.
Payouts in the program in 2008 amounted to $819 million. In 2012, the U.S. government spent $2.2 billion providing free phone service to low-income Americans.
In an effort to squash government waste, the FCC believed that many of the Americans who were claiming the free phone service were not eligible so it tightened the rules last year forcing carriers to verify that existing subscribers were in fact eligible.
Wall Street Journal
reports that far more subscribers to the program were dropped than expected. A review has shown that the top five carrier recipients of Lifeline support had a total of 41% of over 6 million subscribers that couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or simply didn't respond to requests for certification.
These top five carriers were AT&T, Telrite Corp, Tag Mobile USA, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile. Together these carriers account for 34% of all Lifeline subscribers as of May 2012. The Lifeline program is open to subscribers that meet the federal poverty guidelines, are on food stamps, Medicaid, or other assistance programs.
Previous program rules allowed consumers to certify themselves for free phone service without having to prove they met federal poverty guidelines.
Wall Street Journal
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/13/2013 6:06:40 PM
True "poverty" basically doesn't exist in America as a national issue. A stunning testament to America's capitalist system, "poverty" in America has been re-defined to mean people with roofs over their heads, three meals a day, a vehicle and all the creature comforts one would expect. That's "poverty" here.
I remember living in New Orleans and I had a friend from Brazil. He was living in what is called a "housing project", trust me, a place nobody wants to end up. But what was amazing to me is that he had NO concept of this. To him he was living in a really nice apartment with clean running water, central air and heat, electricity etc etc. Things we totally take for granted. You see "poverty" in Brazil means your ass is out on the street starving in a corner somewhere so nobody kicks your teeth in.
2/14/2013 1:13:27 PM
Yeah it does, but that is ok keep fooling yourself. When they rob you I don't wanna hear you wine.
2/14/2013 6:34:13 PM
I'm from Brazil. I'll give you a couple examples. Poverty here varies depending on the region you're in.
Extreme poverty, Northeast region (semi-arid):
Poverty in Rio de Janeiro, a "favela":
Both are extremes of poverty here in Rio. First doesn't even have running water, no energy, nothing at all. Just a "roof" over their heads. The other has a couple more services, like electricity and water (many times stolen from the mains, tho). Some might even have cable TV but, again, most of the time is stolen signal.
So, indeed. Poverty in Brazil and poverty in the US are very, very different things.
"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Tim Cook Touts Apple’s Product Portfolio, Performance in Letter to Employees
October 21, 2014, 8:05 AM
Buoyed by Strong iPhone Sales, Apple Reports Revenue of $42.1B, $8.5B in Profit for Fiscal Q4
October 20, 2014, 5:21 PM
Windows 8.1 + Android "Sell Mini PC" w/ Bay Trail Creates New PC Form Factor
October 20, 2014, 5:07 PM
OnePlus to Open Pre-orders on October 27
October 20, 2014, 1:34 PM
Apple Releases iOS 8.1; Adds Apple Pay Support, SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot
October 20, 2014, 1:00 PM
Quick Note: Android Gmail App to Gain Yahoo, Outlook Account Support
October 20, 2014, 9:15 AM
Most Popular Articles
Google Announces Android 5.0 “Lollipop”, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus 6 “Phablet”
October 15, 2014, 12:41 PM
Cool Science Video of the Day: Carnivorous Leech Eats Giant Jungle Worm
October 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
Oops! Apple Outs iPad mini 3, iPad Air 2 via iTunes Store
October 15, 2014, 1:32 PM
HBO, CBS Lead Charge to Ditch Cable
October 16, 2014, 4:40 PM
Google Offers $99 Nexus Player w/$40 Controller for Android Set-Top Streaming, Gaming
October 15, 2014, 3:01 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information