FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net announces ten surprising facts about the FCC's Lifeline Assistance program that brings free cell phones and service to millions of Americans
LAKE FOREST, Calif., Jan 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- (http://www.myprgenie.com) -- In 2011 controversy erupted over a little-known federal program called Lifeline Assistance that provides free government cell phones and free minutes for financially-strapped Americans. Although ten million people have already received the phones and service, most people still don't know much about it.
That's why FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net, the independent authority on the program, compiled this list of 10 Surprising Facts About Free Government Cell Phones.
- Over 10 million free government cell phones are now in use. Begun in 1999, its growth accelerated since the first wireless phone was handed out in 2008.
- Government cell phones are offered in 38 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. Expect coverage in all states soon.
- You can qualify for a free government cell phone simply by accepting other government assistance such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, National School Lunch, Section 8 Housing, and others. No prof required in most states.
- You can qualify if your household income is 150% or less of the poverty level in eight states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas). In the other states the maximum income is 135% of federal poverty guidelines.
- It's nicknamed the Obama Phone. That's inaccurate, however, because the first free cell phones were distributed under President Bush.
- Illegal aliens are welcome. Program rules don't exclude non-U.S. citizens and there's no verification mechanism. This undoubtedly results in reduced funds available for Americans.
- The program is making the world's richest man even richer. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim owns Safelink Wireless, the largest company in the free government cell phone business.
- The program is plagued with fraud. Here's one example: Puerto Rico has roughly 4,000,000 people and it's estimated that about 200,000 of them have fraudulent accounts. More fraud means fewer free phones for those truly in need. Fortunately, the FCC is attacking the fraud.
- Oddballs. 38 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico participate in the free government cell phone program. In 37 of those jurisdictions, the program provides a free cell phone and usually 250 free minutes per month. But Californians pay $1 for 1000 minutes, Alaskans pay $1 for unlimited talk and text, and Oklahomans pay $2.50 for 250 minutes.
- If you like free government cell phones, you'll love free government internet. Cheap internet for the poor is already here, but the FCC has now proposed a program to offer free internet and low-cost computers to America's needy.
Bonus #11. The free government cell phone program is booming. It cost a relatively modest $800 million in 2008, but government "experts" think it will exceed $1.5 billion in 2011. FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net disagrees, and based upon data from the USAC.org website, estimates that the final number will be closer to $2.0 billion.
Contact: Mark Henry, [email protected], 949.793.0613