Georgia will charge poor people $5 a month to get subsidized phone service, a move that one Republican regulator says will deter fraud. The state's Public Service Commission voted 3-2 on Tuesday to require that phone companies participating in the federal Lifeline program either collect the $5 fee or offer their customers at least 500 minutes of calling time.
State utility regulators will vote Tuesday on whether to charge low-income Georgians $5 dollars a month for a federal program that provides them with free cell-phone service. Some of those people say the fee will force them to make tough decisions about their budgets.
The Georgia Public Service Commission has voted to impose fees on cellphones being offered through the Lifeline program after it was targeted in widespread fraud and abuse allegations. The Lifeline program is intended to provide discounted cellphone service to low-income Georgians. The new rules call for a minimum $5 monthly fee for people receiving cellphones through the program.