1
   

Who was the first U.S. president to issue and offer free government cell phones to people?

 
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 06:47 am
Hi. I'm a little curious about this. I have a question I want to post that mentions free government cell phones and I want to make sure I get this little piece of information correct.

I looked up "Which U.S. President started free cell phones?" And I saw the following:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifeline_(FCC_program) :

"The FCC established the Lifeline program in 1984 during the Ronald Reagan Administration to provide qualified individuals with discounts on phone service."

However this does not tell me if President Reagan was responsible for issuing and offering free government cell phones to people.

I know free government cell phones are commonly referred to as "Obamaphones" because they were popular when Obama was in office.

Cell phones have been around since the '80s but they were nothing like the 21st century cell phones we have now. Smartphones are cell phones with multiple features including internet access.

Did free government cell phones exist before Obama took office? If so what U.S. president was responsible for issuing and offering them to people?

Please help. Thank you.
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 07:05 am
Do you know how much mobile phones cost in 1984?

They were cutting edge technology and cost the equivalent of 6000 US dollars today.

You don’t half have some madcap notions.
0 Replies
 
Rebelofnj
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 08:28 am
@JGoldman10,
According to your link:
"Due to the rise of cell phones, the FCC made more changes in 2005 (under the Bush Administration) so that wireless phone service providers could offer free cell phone service using Lifeline benefits."

So it was under President George W Bush that the government offered free cell phones.

Cell phones existed in the 80s, but they were very expensive and mainly used by businessmen and other uppper class figures.
Cell phones didn't become widespread until the early 2000s.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:46 pm
@Rebelofnj,
Not to nitpick, it was a bit earlier...about 1995-1998. I was not welltodo by any means and I had one in 1996. My friends all had them then, or just about,
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:47 pm
@Ragman,
1195!

Wow that was early.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:51 pm
@izzythepush,
Medieval madness...they put down their swords long enough to Twitter.
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:52 pm
@Rebelofnj,
That's what I thought. G.W. Bush was the one. Thank you.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:53 pm
@Ragman,
The Templar’s were using promissory notes back then well before banking was an actual thing so you never know.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 12:54 pm
@Ragman,
I got my first mobile in 1998. Actually it was shared between my wife and I.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 01:00 pm
@izzythepush,
I shared mine with my g/f too. It wasn’t too exciting, but it was small. Many people had flip-phones. I chose the small soapbar type.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 01:03 pm
@Ragman,
Ours was pretty large. I could fit it in my jacket pocket, but not my trouser pocket.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 01:24 pm
@JGoldman10,
Quote:
That's what I thought. G. W. Bush was the one.


And people criticized me for voting for Junior both times.. They aren't so gleeful now, are they? (especially with the thing currently in the Oval Office).

I didn't get a cellular device until 2002.
0 Replies
 
JGoldman10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 01:52 pm
Mobile phones, especially mobile phones with internet access, had been around between 1996 and 2000, when President Clinton was still in office. How come Clinton didn't issue and offer free government cell phones to people?

How come Reagan and George Bush Sr. didn't do that?
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 02:00 pm
@JGoldman10,
Why didn't Frankie Roosevelt issue cellphones to all the unemployed during the depression?

...wireless technology was already being used and tested back then, and earlier.


Anywho, izzy already explained that the cost was quite prohibitive back then. (Reagan and George H.W. Bush era)

Cameras came about in June of 2000.
JGoldman10
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 02:05 pm
@Sturgis,
Cell phones have been around since the '80s. Why didn't Reagan, Bush Sr. And Clinton issue and offer free government cell phones to people since regular ones were expensive like Rebel pointed out?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 02:16 pm
@JGoldman10,
JGoldman10 wrote:

Cell phones have been around since the '80s. Why didn't Reagan, Bush Sr. And Clinton issue and offer free government cell phones to people since regular ones were expensive like Rebel pointed out?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
They existed but were insanely cost-prohibitive (even for the general public who didn't qualify for the free Lifeline phone program which Shocked didn't exist before it existed. You do know that time works in one direction right? Time and social-political programs don't work retroactively through time and space).

izzythepush wrote:

Do you know how much mobile phones cost in 1984?

They cost $1 per minute (incoming and outgoing calls). My father won one from a radio contest in the mid80s. He was a carpenter. He gave up using it after a couple of months as the phone bill was astronomical.
Rebelofnj
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 02:16 pm
@JGoldman10,
It was still too expensive for the government to give out free cell phones in the 80s and 90s. How hard is it to understand?

Cell phones didn't become more affordable until the 2000s.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 03:25 pm
@tsarstepan,
You don’t know how much a phone costs, just how much a call costs. They’re not the same thing, you should know that.

Not many people won phones back then. Your father didn’t buy one. He was lucky.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 05:28 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

You don’t know how much a phone costs, just how much a call costs. They’re not the same thing, you should know that.

Not many people won phones back then. Your father didn’t buy one. He was lucky.

What are you babbling about?
1. That was a mere anecdote.
2. Those calls were damned expensive. My father spent $100s a month on a terrible phone with calls that dropped far too often. And the minutes were rounded up on the bill. One second over and that's a minute charged.

What the bloody f**k point were you thinking I was making? I'm pretty sure you were wrong. I was adding context to the point that the federal government, in the 80s, would have never offered free car phones to the poor as even many middle-class Americans couldn't afford one. My father wasn't middle class. He couldn't afford the one he won in a contest.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2020 05:33 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

1. That was a mere anecdote.


This is a beautiful sentence, thank you.
0 Replies
 
 

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