Citizens are entitled to cellphones
By Natasha Reeves
On top of food stamps, child care and financial assistance, people can now get a cell phone and paid broadband on welfare. Those on welfare can get this service through FCC’s program Lifeline Assistance, a program originally for low-income families which was designed to help with monthly land-line bills. There has been confusion about this program due to a YouTube video of a woman in Cleveland who claims she got a free cell phone from Obama because she was on welfare. The woman was outside of a Romney rally protesting, saying voters should vote for Obama because of this, though the practice of giving low-income households cellphones has been around since before Obama was elected.
According to freegovernmentcellphones.net, more than 12 million wireless phones have been given to low-income Americans through the program, and 50 million other households are eligible.
The program may sound unnecessary at first, but now-a-days technology is a need rather than a luxury. When it comes to getting a job, few companies accept resumes through the mail, and many Americans are now doing their banking online. A cell phone is the most practical form of communication and is essential in case of an emergency.
Some believe cell phones and internet service go beyond basic necessities, and it will only make people more dependent on the government, when really the only fault in this situation is our dependence on technology. Technology is now part of our daily lives and people have to understand that. Go a day without your cell phone and you will not only feel that itch of wanting to check the time and to text loved ones, but also miss that important conference call, the dentist appointment reminder or the call from your boss saying you need to come in. Without internet, people can forget about applying to jobs that only have online applications, and people can only send in a resume to companies who give their mailing address.
Having access to the basics of technology shouldn’t be considered something “extra.” Lifeline Assistance is essential for low-income families because people need access to effective means of communication and useful information.