Free and Discounted Broadband Internet and Phone Programs

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Discounted Phone Services:

The Lifeline Credit is the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) mandated program for telephone customers on state or federal assistance programs that will reduce their recurring monthly charges by $9.25 per month for local exchange service and up to $34.25 per month for those on Tribal lands. All providers of local telephone service are required to provide the Lifeline credit to all their qualifying customers who request it.

Free Cell Phone: An individual may opt to use the Lifeline Credit for a cell phone instead of a landline. Assurance Wireless, Frontier Communications and Cox Communications provides this benefit in Connecticut. Included are free phone and a free cellular or landline (Home) phone plan that provides free minutes each month.

Safelink do not provide phones, but they provide the free service or minutes to qualified individuals.

Who is Eligible?

To qualify, a customer must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in one of the following programs by providing a card, letter, or official document, as proof that you participate in one of these programs when applying for Lifeline.

In addition, individuals are only allowed to get one Lifeline discount per household, not per person.

If someone else in a household address already gets Lifeline, the provider company will use a “Household Worksheet” to see if more than one household lives at the address.

The Lifeline credit can be used with any combination of services offered by the telephone service provider. However, the telephone service provider may refuse to offer certain premium services (like DSL High-Speed Internet) to those customers who do not have a good credit rating.

 

Discounted Broadband Internet Services:

Affordable Connectivity Program: The Affordable Connectivity Program is the FCC benefit program that will be replacing the Emergency Broadband Benefit program that was created due the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This program starts March 1, 2022. The benefit provides a discount up to $30 per month towards internet services for eligible households. Qualifying Tribal household could receive up to $75 towards internet services. For more information check the link: https://www.fcc.gov/acp .

Who is Eligible?

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

There is a twostep enrollment process:

Some internet providers may have alternative applications that may need to be completed.

To Find Providers in Connecticut’s Community Resources Database:

Search by service name:

Discounted Telephone Service

Discounted Internet Services

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SOURCES: FCC: Lifeline; Assurance; Access Wireless; Safelink Wireless; Federal Communication Commission (FCC)

PREPARED BY: 211/ch
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2022