Mobile Connections for the Poor-Is this the Right Way
I have written on more than one occasion on USOF India’s Schemes aimed at providing subsidised devices and mobile connections to the rural poor. This scheme has finally been cleared by the Government for implementation. In general my posts have inter alia tended to caution against potential implementation problems. These can be seen under the label USOF India.
A news item about FCC’s detection of rampant misuse of the United State’s Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline Programme in North Carolina should further caution us. Here people in the eligible category were found to be beating the call limit associated with this subsidised facility by taking multiple connections under the programme (from different telephone companies in the state). While in this case the fraud has been detected, there are calls to close this programme.
USOF’s own experience with the (fixed line) individual rural household phone scheme has been that it posed a monitoring headache. Why compound the error with mobile connections?