Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. Lifeline provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone service purchased from participating providers in the marketplace. Subscribers can also purchase discounted broadband from participating providers. The discounts, which can be applied to stand-alone broadband, bundled voice-broadband packages – either fixed or mobile – and stand-alone voice service – help ensure that low-income consumers can afford 21st-century broadband and the access it provides to jobs, education and opportunities.
You can only use Lifeline for either phone or broadband, but not both.
- Lifeline discounts on voice services are available to participants of both state and federally recognized aid programs.
- Lifeline discounts on broadband services are available to participants of federally-recognized aid programs and is limited to certain broadband services. Broadband speeds must be 15 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload or faster to qualify.
- If you purchase voice and qualifying broadband services, the federal Lifeline discount will apply to your qualifying broadband service.
- If you purchase voice service and a non-qualifying broadband service, you may receive both state and federal Lifeline discounts on your voice service.
Standard Lifeline—provides federal monthly support of $9.25. In some states, additional monthly support is also available
Tribal Lifeline—offers a deeper monthly discount as well as installation assistance through the Link-Up program to qualifying customers who live on federally-recognized Tribal lands.
How do I qualify for a Lifeline discount?
Lifeline is available to qualified customers in every U.S. state. Qualification requirements vary by state.
Please be aware that only one Lifeline discount is available per household, even if the household has more than one telephone or broadband account, including landline or wireless service. Under the Lifeline program, a household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. The Lifeline discount is not transferable and only eligible customers may enroll in the program. Documentation of eligibility is required to enroll. Customers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain Lifeline service can be punished by fine or imprisonment and can be barred from the program.
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