(Media release from the Georgia Public Service Commission):
The Georgia Public Service Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners and state regulators across the country are observing September 12-16 as Lifeline Awareness Week. The post-Labor Day event has been observed since 2008, when, NARUC, state regulatory commissions, the FCC and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates designated this week as a time to build greater awareness around the Lifeline program.
“As a Georgia Public Service Commissioner and chairman of the Georgia PSC Telecommunications Committee, I’m joining commissioners nationwide to raise awareness for Lifeline,” said Commissioner Fitz Johnson. “In our state, an estimated 800,000 citizens qualify for – but are not registered for – these programs that can offer essential communications services.”
Access to local emergency services and community resources is vital to every person. Lifeline helps low-income consumers connect to the nation’s voice and broadband networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family and call for help in an emergency. For some, being connected can be the difference between social connection and complete isolation.
Under the federal Lifeline Program, low-income consumers who participate in certain public assistance programs or who qualify based on income can receive a discount of up to $9.25 per month off their monthly broadband-qualifying service bill, up to $5.25 off their voice-qualifying service bill and up to an additional $25 per month off for residents on Tribal lands. Information on program eligibility and rules is available at http://www.lifelinesupport.org. A video in American Sign Language about Lifeline is available at https://youtu.be/wwkjVrd5xHc.
A complementary program — the Affordable Connectivity Program — is also available to qualifying households. The ACP provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $30 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). There is also a subsidy to permit customers to purchase a computer or tablet at a discount. The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly from the ACP.