State board delays plan to give away cell phones

A state board has delayed a plan that
could allow as many as 560,000 low income families in Alabama to
receive cell phones.

The state Wireless 9-1-1 Board said the Miami-based prepaid cell
phone company planning to provide the service must obtain
certification from the 911 emergency service boards in all of
Alabama's 67 counties.

Officials with TracFone Wireless Inc. say it could take eight
months to a year to get approval from the county boards.

The plan being considered is an extension of a federal program
that subsidizes wired telephone service for the poor.

The plan would provide low income families with a free phone,
unlimited 911 service and 68 minutes of free talk time a month.

The families could buy additional time at the rate of 20 cents a minute
after the 68 minutes are consumed.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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