1 million Ohioans using free phone program
Just in time for an election. Imagine that!
A program that provides subsidized phone service to low-income individuals has nearly doubled in size in Ohio in the past year — now covering more than a million people. At the same time, federal officials say they’re reining in waste, fraud and abuse in the program.
The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that reforms have saved $43 million since January and are expected to save $200 million by year’s end. In Ohio, savings are expected to be $2.9 million a year.
The savings were realized in part because the government gave out fewer cellphones to ineligible people and took steps to avoid issuing duplicate phones.But the size of the program in the state — and profits to the increasing number of cellphone companies involved — has exploded in recent months, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of program data.