National Program That Provides Phone Service to Millions Faces Changes
For Immediate Release
September 10, 2012 (Blair, Neb.) - Multiple national agencies are joining forces to promote awareness of the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program, which provides discounted phone rates for low-income residents.
According to the FCC website, Lifeline has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service. Access to telephone service is essential for finding a job, connecting with family, or getting help in an emergency, and the percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased from 80% in 1985, when Lifeline began, to nearly 92% last year.
The FCC is joined by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocate. The three organizations are seeking to raise awareness of changes in the Lifeline and Link-up programs during National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week, September 10 - 16.
Changes include alterations to eligibility requirements for the programs. Those who may qualify include residents who have received low-income housing assistance, food stamps, or other government programs. A full list of qualifying programs can be found at www.fcc.gov/lifeline. Those who live on tribal land or receive aid through tribal assistance programs may also qualify.
The program only pertains to landline phones and is limited to one line per household. It cannot be used to fund cell phone services.
Residents in Nebraska should call their local telephone provider to find out more about applying for Lifeline services. Great Plains Communications serves much of the local area and its Customer Response Center can be reached at 1-855-853-1483.
Great Plains Communications is the largest independent telecommunications company in Nebraska and provides services solely to rural areas. It offers residential services such as digital phone including local and long distance calling, as well as high-definition cable television. Broadband Internet is available in all Great Plains Communications’ communities through DSL and cable modem facilities or its partnership with ExedeSM Broadband Satellite Service. The company also provides business services ranging from traditional voice and data products to the installation and support of large business networks. With 102 years of experience, the company currently serves 90 communities with 200 employees throughout Nebraska.