Free phone program popular in Fla.
A program to help low-income people afford telephone service in Florida has added an estimated 414,511 users during the last year, an increase of 225.2 percent.
Statewide participation in the federal Lifeline Assistance Program – which provides either a $13.50 credit per month on a land line or approximately 60 free cell phone minutes – leapt from 184,000 eligible customers in June 2008 to an estimated 598,511 last month, according to preliminary numbers from the Public Service Commission.
Under the plan, those who qualify for certain public assistance programs can qualify for a discount on a land line, or the equivalent in wireless minutes.
Part of the reason for the huge increase in users of the program is that cell phone companies have started participating.