Consumer Groups Fight $5 ‘Obama Phone’ Fee In Georgia

CBS Atlanta

Atlanta (CBS ATLANTA) — Advocacy groups are fighting a Georgia policy that would charge the state’s nearly 800,000 users of taxpayer-funded cellphone service a $5 per month fee.

The Federal Communication Commission program, “Lifeline,” subsidizes the wireless service and allows carriers to dispense phones for no cost. Recipients of the free service are considered eligible if they do not earn more than 135 percent of the federal poverty level or if they participate in at least one other federal assistance program such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or public housing.

Georgia alone has nearly 800,000 residents which use the service, but a new policy aimed at cracking down at fraud and wasteful spending forces companies to either increase free airtime to 500 hours or charge subscribers the $5 fee, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

But some advocacy groups say the new policy…

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