As part of a government program developed in the '90s, millions of consumers are charged a small fee on top of their cell phone bill every month to help subsidize the cost of telecom and Internet services for America's schools: the poorer the school, the bigger the subsidy. The landmark bill collects about $2.25 billion each year, but instead of maximizing the benefit for the country's disadvantaged children, some of the money has gone toward boosting corporate profits, ProPublica's Jeff Gerth reports.
Gerth joins the podcast this week to explain his new investigation on the government's E-Rate program, how AT&T in particular has failed to train its employees on the low-price requirement, and how the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the program, has failed to enforce the mandate.
Listen to the full podcast and read Gerth's corresponding piece: AT&T, Feds Neglect Low-Price Mandate Designed to Help Schools. You can also subscribe to all of ProPublica's podcasts on iTunes.