WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Penn. has been running several stories about the FCC’s Lifeline program, which hands out free cell phones to those living below the poverty line. While the FCC defends the Lifeline cell phone program as delivering needed phone service for job-seekers and as a landline replacement, some citizens who consider cell phones a luxury are upset the federal government is subsidizing the project at a cost of $1.3 billion a year. Even more disturbing to some is the reported amount of waste, fraud, and abuse that may be delivering free phones to those who don’t deserve them. The anchor’s thinly-disguised editorializing leaves little doubt he considers the program a waste of money at a time of skyrocketing budget deficits.
WHP ran this follow-up story about the FCC’s forthcoming involvement in “free broadband” for the poor. In fact, the subsidized Internet program would likely deliver 1-3Mbps basic Internet service for around $10 a month. The WHP anchor doesn’t seem too impressed with this part of the Lifeline program either.
Click headline to watch the two video news clips--