CTIA-The Wireless AssociationÂ® Recognizes September 13th-17th as ‘National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week’
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — CTIA-The Wireless AssociationÃ‚® commends the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their efforts to increase awareness and participation in Lifeline and Link-Up programs. The “National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week” (September 13-17, 2010) is dedicated to ensuring low-income consumers are aware of these two federal and state programs which provide financial assistance for telecommunications services, including wireless.
The Lifeline and Link-Up programs were designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are affordable for low-income consumers. Funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF), the programs offer financial assistance for basic telephone service (Lifeline) and initial telephone installation (Link-Up). Lifeline assistance provides eligible customers with discounts up to $10 per month, depending on their state. Link-Up pays half (up to a maximum $30) of the initial installation fee for traditional wireline service or the activation fee for a wireless telephone for a primary residence.
According to a survey that was released in May 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four households are wireless-only, and that number continues to steadily increase each year. The survey also said that 65 percent of adults who are living below the federal poverty level and are near-poor are wireless-only households.
“As we have seen in numerous surveys, wireless technology is vital to the way we live and work, especially for those who rely on it as their only means of communication. The ‘National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week’ is an important time for us to make sure that low-income consumers are aware of these programs. As we recognize the growing importance of wireless communications, we also call on state legislatures to reduce and eliminate excessive and discriminatory taxes and fees that are placed on wireless bills as it is counterproductive and places arbitrary burdens on the same consumers these programs are trying to help,” said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. “We appreciate the organizations, including the contributions of the wireless carriers that are supporting and highlighting these federal and state programs.”
In 2005, representatives from NARUC, NASUCA and the FCC formed a working group to ensure eligible consumers have access to information about the programs and how they can apply. “National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week” is part of the working group’s ongoing efforts to reach qualified customers and expand awareness about the benefits of the Lifeline and Link-Up programs.
CTIA-The Wireless AssociationÃ‚® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry’s leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, DC.
SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association