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Saving the Government Assisted Cell Phone Program

Something is happening that we don’t like at all, one single bit. That’s proposed changes to the government assisted cell phone program by regulators. Federal regulators are currently considering revising regulations which, if enacted, could cut off the free government assisted cellphone program.

What’s at Risk?

Simply, it’s the Link-Up and Lifeline programs. The FCC is currently taking under consideration changes to the extremely successful and popular Lifeline program.

In the beginning Lifeline was created with the intention of helping the consumer pay for the conventional landlines, however, with the cell phone becoming more commonplace, the Federal Communications Commission has allowed for low-income individual and families to utilize the Lifeline money for mobile phone service as well. Lifeline carrier partners are able to offer the eligible participants free prepaid cell phones with an allotment of up to 250 minutes monthly.

The Programs Peril

Earlier in the year, the FCC expressed some of their concerns with the growth of the Lifeline program. This caused them to float around the idea of putting a cap on the Lifeline fund and then earmarking any saved money for other pilot program initiatives at expanding access to broadband. Any type of a move like this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Capping the Lifeline funds could lead to scores of Americans getting their phone service cut off, and cut off at a time that they need to have it the most. Current economic conditions and recent trends have led to a lot more of the population turning to the Lifeline program for help. Throughout the 2007-2009 periods, there were almost 5 million more Americans that dropped under the poverty line.

The FCC has also been looking at potentially charging Lifeline customers for the service. Making a move like this would completely burden the already struggling families that are low-income and struggling through the recession or other circumstances. Lifeline was built with the intention of helping low-income individuals and families keep connected, seek employment and so on. Putting up additional barriers to enrollment completely defeats the programs purpose.

With this being the tight budget era, the FCC along with the programs participating carriers like Lifeline need to weed out the waste and the fraud. The reason this needs to be done is twofold:

  • Spend taxpayers money much more effectively and wisely
  • Preserve the Lifeline program access for those that really and truly need the program the most

In order to further those goals the FCC has proposed, and rightfully so, the creation of a database to be held at either the state or federal level in order to minimize fraud risks which concern state regulators, the FCC, and telecommunications providers and understandably so. With that said though, officials need to do everything they possibly can to ensure Lifeline is able to continue expansion and access to free government assisted cell phones for those that are the most needy. They must tread very carefully, especially in these very perilous times.

Minimizing fraud is something that can be backed 100%, however, all of the other proposals are flawed and completely opposed. We’re going through tough times, there are far too many people that are under/unemployed and need the benefits of the Lifeline program more than ever.

A Call To Action – What You Can Do

Contact your representatives in Congress and express that you don’t think that Lifeline should be reduced, that you in fact think if anything it should be expanded. Express that Congress needs to stop the shortsighted plans of the FCC.

Related posts:

  1. The Lifeline Free Government Cell Phone Program
  2. Virgin Extends Government’s Free Cell Phone Program
  3. Government Cell Phones- Do you qualify for a free government cell phone?
  4. Qualifying For a Free Government Cell Phone
  5. Free Government Cell Phone Programs
  6. Free Government Cell Phones and How to Get Yours
  7. Low Income Cell Phone Plans For Families
  8. Free Government Cell Phones, Millions of Americans Unaware Of Free Cell Phone Options
  9. Free Government Cell Phones through ReachOut Wireless
  10. Free Government Cell Phones through ReachOut Wireless

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