Ohio regulators weighing end to AT&T's low-income phone plan

Posted at 12:26 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 12:26:58-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio utility regulators are accepting comments on AT&T's proposal to drop federal Lifeline phone service.

A number of advocacy groups for more than 10,000 low-income Ohioans customers helped by the program are urging the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reject AT&T's plan. Those include the NAACP, AARP and the Ohio Poverty Law Center.

Lifeline offers a credit that covers a quarter of the $36 average monthly cost of a landline telephone.

Advocates argue the program keeps people connected who can't afford phone and internet services, and that landlines bring them safety in emergencies.

AT&T says Lifeline subscribers have decreased due to increased competition. The company's received permission to drop the program in 10 states.

If the PUCO allows that, customers would have to find another provider that offers it.