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Your phone bill is paying for cell phones for low income?

hypocritexposer

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Are you paying to provide free cell service to people with low incomes?Did you know that some of the

Posted: 08/04/2011

By: Katrina Schaefer

Did you know that some of the fees that you pay on your phone bill may actually be providing free cell service to people with low incomes?

A debate started in Pennsylvania after people became aware of the program, which offers a free phone and 250 minutes a month.

Here's how at works:

The FCC requires all phone companies to pay into something called the Universal Service Fund.

Companies get the money they send to the fund by charging you on you bill.

Money from the fund goes to companies who provide the free service to help offset their cost.

People across the country are using this free service and if you have a cell phone, you're paying for it.

Supporters say the cell phone provides a needed lifeline that helps people get to doctors and stay in touch with loved ones.

Critics say cell phone service isn't a right. Read more about this story.

What do you think about this?

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/now_at_nine/are-you-paying-to-provide-free-cell-service-to-people-with-low-incomes
 

Steve

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well, we pay for guns for Mexican gangs, cocaine for informants, so why not hand out free phones..


If you want a phone, get a job. this crap is getting beyond stupid..
 

hypocritexposer

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Steve said:
well, we pay for guns for Mexican gangs, cocaine for informants, so why not hand out free phones..


If you want a phone, get a job. this crap is getting beyond stupid..



Is the cell phone a basic human right? That's the question the Toronto Star asks about a U.S. program that gives free phones and talk time to people on welfare or at poverty-level incomes.

The stock to watch in this area is America Movil (AMX), whose TracFone Wireless subsidiary runs the program. TracFone, by the way, has more than 10 million subscribers and is the top prepaid wireless service in the U.S.

Providing food and shelter to the needy is one thing, but a cell phone? The government pays for most of the program, called SafeLink, which gives users 68 minutes of free monthly airtime for a year with no contracts. That includes voice mail, call waiting, text messages and international calling.

The program is available in parts of four states -- Tennessee, Florida, Massachusetts and Virginia -- and is coming soon to seven eastern states and the District of Columbia (click here for more information).

It's fascinating that cell phones have climbed the ranks of human necessities to be on par with the most basic of services. The issue seemed to take root after Hurricane Katrina, when people without phone access couldn't get help.

There's also the possibility that a cell phone can help the person get a job, moving them out of poverty and off federal welfare.

"Cell phones can significantly boost the earning potential of these communities," said the author of a recent government study on the impact of cell phones on low-income people.

The government pays most of the program's costs, and TracFone picks up the rest. TracFone sells users additional monthly talk time, and could retain them as paying customers once the year of free service ends.

It's too bad that the government couldn't set up this program with a wireless provider in the U.S., rather than a company based in Mexico City.

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/are-cell-phones-for-welfare-or-low-income-families-a-basic-human-right/question-265313/
 

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