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Free phone service program still abused in Ohio

Associated Press

DAYTON: Enrollment in a subsidized program that provides free phone service to the poor has dropped by more than 20 percent in the past year, but the part of the program that hands free cellphones to enrollees continues to be abused.

The Dayton Daily News reports the program’s misuse is forcing authorities to propose rule changes.

The phones are given through a federal program paid for with fees on cellphone and home phone bills. Eligibility requirements include that people must receive some form of government assistance such as Medicaid. Some families have been found owning more than one free phone.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week endorsed a rule change that calls for ending the practice of handing the phones. Instead, they’d be mailed after a stricter eligibility check.



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