Federal telephone assistance program helps residents stay connected
LACEY, Wash. - This week the Utilities and Transportation Commission is partnering with utility regulators across the country to remind consumers of a federal telecommunications discount program that can help low-income consumers stay connected to vital voice and broadband networks.
Lifeline Awareness Week promotes the federal Lifeline program, which offers eligible participants a $9.25 monthly discount on broadband, up to $5.25 off telephone, and an additional $25 per month off for residents on Tribal lands.
Benefits are limited to one discount per household.
Customers already eligible for certain public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are eligible for Lifeline discounts.
Consumers may also be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $30 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands).
Telephone and broadband assistance programs are especially vital to low-income and elderly residents, helping them stay connected to local emergency services and community resources.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates sponsor this week.
To apply for Lifeline benefits, use the National Verifier centralized application system to verify your eligibility or recertify annually. If you need assistance when applying, use the “Companies Near Me” tool to locate a Lifeline service provider near you.
The commission is the state agency charged with regulating the rates and services of telephone companies operating in Washington as well as promoting a competitive telecommunications marketplace. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit. The commission does not regulate the rates of broadband services, cellular, cable, or Internet service.