Mainly because there are lots of regulations, programs and numbers to cover in order to properly explain what the mythological ObamaPhone is, how it came into being and the real story behind it. If not done in two or three parts it would induce a coma. However it’s a huge scandal that needs to be explained.
Read closely, it may not be the scandal you’re expecting and there’s a plot twist at the end.
I’ve researched this for weeks and the best I can tell, the term “ObamaPhone” was coined by the lady who appears in the video link below on September 26, 2012. I can find no reliable reference prior to this event.
She became known simply as the “ObamaPhone Lady.”
In real life, she is Michelle Dowery and she typifies what we think of as the “low information voter.” Still she has the same rights as you at the voting place. All that separates her from you, driving down the Interstate, is 4 inches of white paint.
In this video, she appeared at a Mitt Romney rally in Bedford, Ohio, just outside Cleveland.
She ranted that “everybody in Cleveland” – and something about minorities that was unintelligible – “all got a ObamaPhone.”
“Keep Obama President, you know, he gave us a phone, he gonna do more!”
The interviewer asks what’s wrong with Romney and she replies, “Romney? He sucks….. BAD!!” Quite possibly the only factual thing she said, but sadly, she appeared to have no earthly idea why she was right.
In her mind, Romney just wasn’t Obama, so he sucked.
Dowery sat down with full blown conspiracy whack job Alex Jones for an interview on his radio show following this video concerning her thoughts ranging from flu shots, to Obama to the police. For those who don’t know Jones, he makes UFO chasing Art Bell look like KMBZ 980’s Mike Shanin.
True story; when asked who she would be supporting in the 2016 elections, she said, “It darn sure won’t be Obama.”
Proving that she’s either oblivious to the 22nd Amendment – and the fact Obama’s will already have been in office for two terms – or possibly that she can’t count to two. I won’t speculate beyond that.
This video “went viral” and before long everyone wanted their ObamaPhone.
Next Obama, under a cloak of darkness and in total secrecy, developed a program to get free cell phones into the hands of everyone. Or did he?
The ObamaPhone became the most successful Obama campaign strategy that never existed.
Genius; shear genius.
So how did we get here and what is an ObamaPhone?
It all started with the Communications Act of 1934, which established “universal service” in legislation created by the Federal Communications Commission. It established a little thing called Universal Service Fund, administered by USAC, the Universal Service Administration Company, a not-for-profit corporation, reporting to the FCC with the primary function being the collection and distribution of fees and funds from telecom carriers.
FDR was President then, not Obama.
So who pays into this fund; virtually all carriers of intrastate, interstate, and international providers of telecommunication services within the United States. Each carrier completes a Form 499-Q quarterly. The FCC takes carriers’ reported revenue and calculates the contribution factor, dividing total demand by total revenue. The result of the equation is the percentage, or contribution factor, each carrier must make to the USF.
Where do the carriers get the money to pay into USAC? Pull out your phone bill; you will see a line item charge, passed on to you, called “Universal Service Fund.”
Its primary function, in 1934, was to do just what its name implied; provide “universal service.” But back then, what did that mean? One example was to provide service in hard to reach areas and to keep the price affordable. If the central office, the facility where your dial tone came from, was in the middle of town and you lived 10 miles out in the country with three neighbors between you and the city limits, how many telephone poles, miles of copper wire and cost would it take to reach your home and how would you ever be able to pay for your service?
It could cost $20,000 or 10 times that in 1934 dollars to get a phone to your kitchen wall. Amortize that in the regulated days of telecom and you could be paying in excess of $175 a month for phone service.
The Act chugged along for 60 years and was modified by The Telecommunications Act of 1996 expanding what was previously defined as universal service to include “increased and affordable access to both telecommunications and high-speed Internet, for all consumers.”
Here’s where the main plot starts to form.
William Jefferson Clinton was President in 1996, not Obama.
This new Act added some nuances to the program, establishing four major categories;
- High Cost, for rural areas, which became the Connect America Fund
- Pretty much the original intent
- Lifeline, aimed at low-income consumers, including initiatives to expand phone service for Native Americans (remember this one, it gets really important later)
- Rural Health Care
- Schools and Libraries, also known as E-rate
That’s enough for anyone to consume today, but the stage was set with the 1996 Act where we began to redefine “low income consumers” and the “expansion of services.”
Cell phones weren’t even a concern in the 1996 Act, but the stage was set for the companies who provide them to became the single largest benefactor.
Stay tuned; film at 11:00.