Ga. regulators debate charging the poor for phones - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ga. regulators debate charging the poor for phones

Posted: Updated:

By RAY HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - A Republican utility regulator in Georgia wants to charge low-income customers for their government-subsidized telephone service.

H. Doug Everett has proposed requiring customers enrolled in the federal Lifeline program to pay telephone companies a fee of $5 per month. Companies that don't charge the fee would have to offer at least 500 minutes of calling time, potentially making it unprofitable to stay in the market.

The rules are designed to affect firms offering cellphones, not landlines.

Everett says the Lifeline program has been abused. The U.S. government is moving to tighten eligibility requirements in the $2 billion program after earlier estimating that 15% of people enrolled were ineligible.

Critics of Everett's plan say it would discourage poor people from enrolling and drive phone companies out of the market.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices