Can you imagine not having a phone? If your child is sick, how would you contact your doctor? If you are looking for a job, how would an employer contact you for an interview? Thankfully, two important telephone discount programs help "connect" phoneless residents by making telephone service more affordable for low-income folks. The Lifeline and Link-Up programs offer qualified consumers discounts on monthly phone bills and initial phone connection services.
I am concerned with estimates that less than 1/3 of those eligible in this country receive these benefits. This is why our second annual Lifeline Awareness Week was so important. Working with our colleagues at the FCC, states across the country are working together to let Americans know about these discounted phone services, which are especially needed during this difficult economy. Eligible low-income consumers can save $120 a year or more. By joining together the week of September 13th-19th — the Second Annual Lifeline Awareness Week — we have begun to get the word out to eligible consumers and get them connected!
So, what went on in New York State for Lifeline Awareness Week? Our Department of Public Service worked with other state agencies, human service organizations and telephone companies to promote Lifeline Awareness Week and focus attention on these important programs. We held three kick-off events on in Buffalo, Albany and New York City. Throughout the remainder of the week, our staff promoted the Lifeline/Link-up programs at our exhibit booth at outreach events across the state and in meetings with local human service organizations. In addition, we hosted a Lifeline webinar for representatives of service organizations that work directly with low income consumers.
Want to know more about what we are doing in New York State? Visit the Public Service Commission's consumer Web site: www.AskPSC.com. For more information about the program or to learn about national efforts go to www.lifeline.gov.
Telephone service provides a vital link to family, friends, employment, commercial opportunity and emergency services. Join our effort by spreading the word about Lifeline Awareness!