Thursday, December 22, 2011

Consumers Take Advantage Of Low-Cost And Free Phone Service

Free Cell Phones And Discounted Land Lines Available

LABELLE, FL. -- The Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance programs help make telephone service affordable to low-income customers by giving free cell phones with free minutes or giving rebates on telephone hook-up charges and credits toward monthly phone bills. 

The programs are available to anyone receiving government assistance such as food assistance, medicaid, SSI and other programs for Florida residents with low or no income.

As of June 30, 2011, SafeLink Wireless, a free cell phone with minutes service, had 447,379 Lifeline customers, and Assurance Wireless, another cell phone provider, had 286,866. These two are probably the most popular services, as they provide one free cell phone per household, and include up to 250 free monthly minutes.

The number of eligible customers participating in the Lifeline program in Florida grew 47% during the July 2010 through June 2011 annual review period. As of June 30, 2011, 943,854 eligible customers participated in the Lifeline program. 

The five companies accounting for 918,925 Lifeline customers are SafeLink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC, d/b/a AT&T Florida, Embarq Florida, Inc. d/b/a CenturyLink, and Verizon Florida LLC. 

The three largest incumbent local exchange carriers, AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon had 122,849, 39,524, and 22,307 Lifeline customers, respectively. The Lifeline program provide assistance in land line installation fees and monthly phone charges or free cell phones. In total, non-incumbent local exchange carrier Lifeline enrollment was 748,515 customers, which accounts for 79.3% of Florida's Lifeline customers.


  1. Really?! And Safelink, the Tracfone subsidiary that initiated the help program doesn't get mentioned in a Florida blog?!
    Wazzup Mr Brown

  2. @Franko - Safelink, the 1st cell phone provider to offer the free service for low-income Florida residents is indeed mentioned in the third paragraph of the story (and again in the 5th paragraph.)

  3. These Lifeline programs are helping thousands of Floridians stay connected with family and potential employers.

    Here is a longer list of qualifying public assistance programs: Section 8, LIHEAP, SSI,National School Lunch (Free Program Only), Temporary Cash Assistance, Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Bureau of Indian Affairs Programs (e.g., Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start Subsidy, NSP, etc).

    You can also qualify if your total household income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

    The last two requirements, not mentioned in the original post, are that your household can not have more than one Lifeline phone AND you can not apply from a PO Box.

    Could you tell me where you for your Lifeline program statistics and growth in eligible customers numbers? I have looked around for this information, but haven't been able to find a good source.

    Thanks for an informative article!