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Thread: Starks: FCC must pause T-Mobile/Sprint review in light of Lifeline investigation

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    Starks: FCC must pause T-Mobile/Sprint review in light of Lifeline investigation

    https://www.fiercewireless.com/wirel...mrkid=21553822

    FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks has called on the agency to put its review of T-Mobile and Sprint’s pending merger on hold until an investigation into Sprint’s apparent misuse of millions in Lifeline subsidies is resolved.

    On Tuesday the FCC announced Sprint apparently falsely had collected “tens of millions” in funds from the Lifeline program, which is meant to provide phone and internet service for low-income Americans. Sprint is accused of claiming subsidies for 885,000 Lifeline subscribers who were inactive and not actually receiving services under the program, a figure that represents 10% of the entire Lifeline program’s subscriber base and 30% of Sprint’s Lifeline subscribers.

    In a statement released yesterday, Starks said the alleged action, which “appears to be the worst case of Lifeline violations in FCC history,” directly impacts the FCC’s review of T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26.5 billion merger....

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    The "free phone" scam coming around to bite Sprint on the butt.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Is there any proof they did this on purpose?

    AFAIK Sprint is supposed to report users who aren't actually using the service so the federal subsidy for that line is terminated. Apparently they didn't yet continued to collect.

    Sprint has offered to reimburse the government for this. If there is no nefarious intent I'm not sure why this would further delay the merger process?
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    And yet every Obamaphone out there is being paid for with tax dollars and are handed out like concert flyers. Crack down on that abuse then get back to me about Sprint why don't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by daleraver View Post
    And yet every Obamaphone out there is being paid for with tax dollars and are handed out like concert flyers. Crack down on that abuse then get back to me about Sprint why don't you?
    While I agree that this program is widely abused, it actually began under Reagan, with landline phones of course. So, it would be more appropriate to call them Reaganphones.

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    A) obama had nothing to do with the phone program whatsoever, calling them obamaphones is inappropriate.

    B) something like $10 a month per person is a small investment to help people out. If one can't afford a phone, they are not going to be able to get a job. Even if you seriously don't care about anyone but yourself..this helps people who are hard up be able to get back into the swing of things and (if they can) back working rather than on assistance. This helps the economy and overall helps everyone.

    C) just to preempt it... i've seen the complaint that why should "they" get a cell phone instead of a basic landline... well, price it out, in my area a landline is like $30-40 a month. Seriously. Cell phone is by far the cheaper option.

    Did sprint do this on purpose? I have no idea. I've heard so many bad things about sprint's billing problems that it's entirely possible it's all a massive billing snafu. Also possible it was fully intentional. I guess (if this actually turns into an investigation and not just political grandstanding) we'll find out.

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    Starks: FCC must pause T-Mobile/Sprint review in light of Lifeline investigation

    I really thought when I read that, no big deal....Somebody messed up the accounting and now Sprint will pay it back with a fine or penalty. All will be well and FCC gets a nice fine payment on top.

    I really doubt it was intentional. Nobody wants a headline like that.


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    Considering what happened to 'we work' Son must be sweating bullets at the thought of this not going through or even being delayed over this. He's going to need all that Tmobile stock asap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwertz View Post
    .......B) something like $10 a month per person is a small investment to help people out. ....
    I bought a mobile phone for $15 and keep it active for ~$32/year. $10/month sounds like a 250% overcharge to me. Besides, the program is rife with corruption, in addition to the waste. Remember, the "free" phones aren't really "free". They are paid for by everyone who has telephone service. Everyone who pays a phone bill should demand an end to fraud and waste in the program.

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    One more reason the merger will not happen.
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I bought a mobile phone for $15 and keep it active for ~$32/year. $10/month sounds like a 250% overcharge to me. Besides, the program is rife with corruption, in addition to the waste. Remember, the "free" phones aren't really "free". They are paid for by everyone who has telephone service. Everyone who pays a phone bill should demand an end to fraud and waste in the program.
    The $10 a month was some estimate of what the cell co gets per line total, not what people using it are paying.

    A side gripe, locally where centurylink and mediacom have a duopoly... they are in a program where (if you meet income requirements) you can get like $20 a month off internet. Fair enough. But somehow both have been permitted to exclude their low cost plans from this program! In both cases they have a about $30 plan, but the $20 discount only applies to plans above $50. Needless to say there are very few takers, since anyone who can't afford a $30 plan can't afford a $50 plan discounted to $30 either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    While I agree that this program is widely abused, it actually began under Reagan, with landline phones of course. So, it would be more appropriate to call them Reaganphones.
    This guy gets it! ^

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    I don't know why people are so caught up on these bottom of the line abuses. Go after the trillions being being stolen at the top. Guess people don't want to feel powerless going after the real money which is much harder.

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    Sprint will just pay the fine and reimburse the government and its business as usual. Merger will move along just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    While I agree that this program is widely abused, it actually began under Reagan, with landline phones of course. So, it would be more appropriate to call them Reaganphones.
    LOL, well just for the record, I DID NOT give them that name, now did I? But you knew exactly what I was talking about, so there's that.

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