Groups says Federal Wireless Phone Service Critical to Latinos
The League of United Latin American Citizens- otherwise known as LULAC, says the federal wireless Lifeline Program is of critical importance to the Latino population and should not be cut back. The Lifeline Program- which dates back to 1985, provides discount phone service to low-income families.
[The Lifeline program started in 1985 with land-line phones. It is now wireless]
The League of United Latin American Citizens says Latinos are under represented in the program because large numbers of Latino families that might qualify for a Lifeline wireless phone don’t even know about the program. LULAC is pushing for expansion of the program amid concerns that it might be scaled back. Executive Director Brent Wilkes says the phones are key to finding work, staying safe and staying healthy:
“There’s some clear evidence that more and more people are getting health advice and even health monitoring through their cell phones, through their wireless connections, we’ve been looking at apps that are available for smart phones which will even monitor heart rates,”says Wilkes.
Florida is one of 39 states that participates in the Lifeline program, and enrollment is quite high. Miami, with over 85-thousand subscribers, ranks #3 in the country for Lifeline participation. Tampa is ranked number 13, and Orlando, with over 4-thousand enrolled, ranks 14th.