Tracfone Controversy in “Obama Phone” Smartphone Contract


Home / Tracfone Controversy in “Obama Phone” Smartphone Contract

Internet access coming to an Obama Phone near you? Image by Pete Souza

Tracfone CEO Denies Link Between Presidential Support and Contract Win

Pollak has denied a link between his family’s donations to the party and the acquisition of the contract, telling the Washington Times that there is “no pay-for-play, or even favors.” The company is already a major supplier of cell phones provided by the Lifeline Program, with over 4 million subscribers.

Between 500,000 and 1 million low income households are expected to participate in the pilot scheme, at an expected cost to the government of $45 per month for each contract, which will, for the first time, include a digital data allowance of 2GB.

Obama Phones for Low Income Families

If the pilot program is successful, the government can expect to pay around $100 million per month, based on projections that build on the current numbers of Tracfone subscribers. Expenditure on the initial trial will, however, be capped at $915,000.


Fox News. Wireless Exec With Ties to Obama Wins Contract to Supply Poor with Smartphones(2013). Fox News. Accessed February 11, 2013.

Rosiak, L. Obama Crony wins contract to give phones to jobless. (2013). The Washington Times. Accessed February 11, 2013.

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