“It's been great for me,” said Darryl Ellery, who has had his "Lifeline phone" for about six months and doesn't go anywhere without. “They don't have phones out on phone booths no more, so you need a phone just in case you get in trouble out here. You're going to have to have somewhere you can get emergency contact,” Ellery said.
Nothing is really free so funding for this program has rapidly depleted over the decades, not surprising more than 100,000 Kentuckians are now in danger of losing their “free" cell phone service.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission announced a temporary edict which will affect all Kentuckians phone bills in the state with a wireless or landline.
“The surcharge for the Universal Service Fund, which funds the Lifeline program, is going up by six cents, from eight cents to 14 cents,” said PSC spokesman Andrew Melnykovyc. Who said most phone providers supported the increase to keep the program stable, but many customers are against it.
“Six cents really isn't that much,” Melnykovych said. “They have no sympathy for the folks that are reliant on that program on that phone service.”
Are these “surcharges” really just taxes masquerading as fee’s? Could This be Socialism?
The PCS is still taking public comments to come up with a sustainable solution for the free-phone funding handouts.
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