Introduction to Lifeline

Lifeline Cell Phone Services was established in 1996 to give people who are struggling financially the opportunity to own their own cell phone for free, with free minutes each month, for as long as the customer qualifies. There are no contracts to sign, no credit checks, no activation fees, no deposits required and there is no monthly bill. Lifeline Cell Phone Services has helped hundreds of thousands of people stay connected with free cell phones.

Access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to everyone. Without a phone you can quickly become disconnected from family and from potential employers or a current employer. For some, a phone can be the difference between social connection and complete isolation.

So, how is a free cell phone and free minutes possible? Lifeline Cell Phone Services, and our partners, wants people to "stay connected" and is reaching out to those who need cell phone service but can't afford it. We are able to do this thanks to the Universal Services Fund's Lifeline program. This program is meant to provide affordable phone service to low-income individuals. It gives them the ability to enroll in a government sponsored program that provides them with a free cell phone and 68 anytime minutes for free every month. And imagine the impact to your customers of not having a monthly phone bill. This savings of between $30 and $40 a month means more food on the table and one less thing to worry about.

These programs are based on the principle in The Telecommunications Act of 1996 that "consumers in all regions of the nation, including low income consumers… should have access to telecommunications and information services…" The Universal Service Fund program has helped connect virtually every American to our 20th century communications grid, first bringing basic telephone service to places where there was no economic case for service, and then extending the benefits of mobile phone service. The fund reimburses eligible telecommunications carriers for the revenue they forgo by providing Lifeline Service to low income households.