Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts....
The program came to be after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed, and the FCC created the Universal Service Fund to help "to promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable, and affordable rates," among other things. All telecommunications carriers must pay into the fund, and many do so by tacking on a fee to each of their customers' bills. It's probably added into your monthly wireless bill and your landline bill, if you still have one.
February 9, 2012
You are doing that, you know.