Last updated: May 5, 2013 - 9:27pm
Two companies are now offering free cell phones and service to anyone in California who can prove that his or her annual income is less than $14,702.
The program is part of the federally funded Lifeline effort, which until now in California provided only landline phone service to the poor. The state Public Utilities Commission expanded Lifeline to cell phones, allowing those who qualify to receive free phones and monthly plans for 250 talk minutes and 250 text messages. Advocates for the homeless - including the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness and Bevan Dufty, the city's head of homeless initiatives - have been pushing the commission to approve the program for three years. They pointed out that, with landline usage plummeting and cell phones becoming more the norm, cell-phone Lifeline plans have already been approved in most other states.
- Subsidized Cell Phones Provide Significant Economic Gains for Poor and Near-Poor Americans
- Is Obamaphone good for the poor? Maybe not.
- Bringing Broadband to People with Low Incomes
- The Truth About Lifeline
- From the Benton Blog: FCC’s Low-Income Phone Reform Needs to Connect and Tie Eligibility to People, Not Housing
- Democrats' bill would subsidize Internet service
- The Best 10 Ironies About The “Obama Phone”
- FCC Letter to PUCs encourages enforcement of USF waste, fraud and abuse policies
- Mixed Reaction to FCC's Lifeline/Linkup Reform
- Replies filed on Lifeline/Linkup
- Consumer Groups Address Lifeline Reform at FCC
- FCC’s Low-Income Phone Reform Needs to Connect and Tie Eligibility to People, Not Housing
- Lifeline To Our World
- Benton Foundation Advocates for Lifeline Reform
- T-Mobile, Cleartalk Get Go-Ahead on Low-Income Services