WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Waste Watch
Hundreds Of Millions In Waste Found In Federal Cell Phone Program
June 13, 2012

EYEWITNESS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO
C L I C K   T O   P L A Y
Eyewitness News continues to watch your tax dollars. We're taking a closer look at a federal program called Lifeline, which provides free cell phones to the poor. But did you know, you are actually paying for those cell phones.

Every person who pays their bill is helping to pay for those free government issued cell phones. It shows up as a "Federal Universal Service Charge" hidden among all those other fees on your cell phone bill. The money funds the Lifeline program, which provides free cell phones, with about 250 minutes on them to people who qualify for a long list of other types of government assistance. The lifeline program costs Americans $1.75 billion each year.

There has recently been a lot of concern about the program. It was established by the FCC in 1985 to provide a line of communication to everyone, even the poor. But in the past few years, the program has skyrocketed in cost and in scope. It expanded to cell phones in 2008, to help the poor look for jobs and have for emergencies. Now more than 13-million Americans have the connection.

The FCC admits there are real challenges facing the program. In just a few months, they've identified $200-million in waste. So starting this month changes are coming to the program, there's a new database, there will be pre-screening and they're implementing a one per household rule to try and cut out the waste and fraud but many like Representative Shelley Moore Captio are wondering if it will be enough. She says congress should take an even closer look at the program and questions how many people are actually using the phones to look for jobs.

If you have a government waste story, you can call us on our Waste Watch tipline, 304-346-1147, you can remain anonymous. You can also submit a tip to news@wchstv.com




Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

LINKS

More Waste Watch Stories

Waste Watch February 25, 2014
Armored Vehicle Flap
Armored Vehicle Purchase By Huntington Police Considered Waste By Some Waste Watch Video

Waste Watch February 14, 2014
State BOE Hires
New Staffers Will Make More Than $250,000 In Salary Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 21, 2013
Judge William Watkins
Disgraced Former Putnam County Judge Set To Retire And Receive His Benefits Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 12, 2013
Levy Election Costs
School And Library Question Has $300,000+ Price Tag Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 7, 2013
Cost of Corruption
Mingo County Wrongdoing May Take Millions And Years To Correct Waste Watch

Waste Watch November 5, 2013
Tossed Technology
Critics Claim County Is Wasting Money, Technology Waste Watch

Waste Watch October 24, 2013
Alleged Scam
Former FSU Administrator Accused Of Stealing State Money Waste Watch

Waste Watch October 23, 2013
Obamacare Website Woes
Local Website Developer Also Finds Headaches With Government Healthcare.gov Site Waste Watch

Waste Watch October 7, 2013
Baisden Resigns
Mingo County Commissioner Steps Down And Forfeits $10,000 In Salary Waste Watch

Waste Watch September 29, 2013
Swinefest
Officials Can't Account For How Festival Money Was Spent Waste Watch

Waste Watch September 25, 2013
Medicaid Report
Auditors Say More Could Be Done To Stop W.Va. Medicaid Fraud Waste Watch




Do you know about wasteful spending? Email Us: EMail news@wchstv.com
Tell us about it Online or call us: 304-346-1147








Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.