Did you know that the week of September 10-14 was Lifeline awareness week? Yeah, neither did anyone else. It was apparently an “outreach” effort by the FCC to make the public aware of the Lifeline program which provides government assistance to low income families for phone service – either wireless or wire line. It doesn’t appear to be very successful if no one has heard of it. I guess the tweets by the FCC and other Public Utilities Commissions were not enough. Could it be that the people who could benefit from the Lifeline program don’t follow their local PUC on twitter? Well, shame on them.
The best outreach available for this program is still word of mouth. I think the government needs to find a more effective way of getting in front of their target audience. I would think that with all of the millions they are now saving because of the recent reform of Lifeline, they would be able to make a better outreach campaign. But, it’s really not their job. The providers out there that stand to profit from the program are the ones that should be doing more to reach the public. It’s part of the agreement when becoming an Eligible Telecommunucations Carrier (ETC) which allows them to get Lifeline funds. Could it be that there just isn’t enough meat left on the bone for those ETCs after the cuts made in the reform? The proof is in the pudding.