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Public Service Commission


07/29/2011 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Assists FCC Effort to Curb Lifeline Duplication

TALLAHASSEE — Lifeline Assistance (Lifeline), the discounted telephone service benefitting low-income consumers, has apparently benefitted some more than others.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now identifying those consumers who receive a Lifeline benefit on more than one telephone or cell phone service and will begin its Lifeline duplication resolution in Florida.


In the coming weeks, Florida consumers currently benefitting from duplicate Lifeline discounts will receive a “de-enrollment notice” from the Universal Service Administrative Company (which administers the Universal Service Fund) that explains why consumers are allowed to have only one Lifeline phone service and provides detailed instructions for choosing one Lifeline provider.  Consumers will have 30 days to choose which discounted phone service to keep, or one Lifeline service will be kept by default.  Choosing their company in a timely manner will help consumers avoid future unwanted charges on their phone bills. 


“The Lifeline program is important because it connects Floridians who might not otherwise be able to afford phone service,” said Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Art Graham.  “Individual consumers, however, are entitled to receive just one Lifeline discount.  I applaud Florida’s participation in the FCC’s de-enrollment process that will help the Lifeline program be more cost-efficient and, in the long run, benefit even more eligible consumers.”


The federal Lifeline Assistance program offers customers who participate in certain public assistance programs a basic telephone service discount of $13.50 per month, or $162 per year.  Link-Up Florida provides a 50 percent reduction in the telephone service installation charge, up to a maximum of $30, for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service.  Both landline and wireless providers offer the Lifeline program.


If consumers have any questions concerning the notification or need assistance with their Lifeline discount selection, they can call the toll-free number listed in the letter.  For general questions about the Lifeline program, consumers can call the PSC’s toll-free number, 1-800-342-3552.


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