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CTIA-The Wireless Association Recognizes September 14th-20th as "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week".

WASHINGTON -- CTIA-The Wireless Association[R] applauds 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 Linkup programs. The "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week" (September 14-20, 2009) 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.

Research indicates that wireless usage is particularly high among low-income Americans. In the Center for Disease Control's annual survey released in 2009, adults living in poverty were more likely than higher income adults to be living in wireless-only households.

"We commend these organizations for their efforts through the 'National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week' to bring attention to these federal and state programs which provide financial aid for vital wireless communications to low-income individuals," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. "We also appreciate our members' continued support for these two programs. As anyone can attest, wireless services are no longer a luxury for a select few, but rather a vital necessity for more than 270 million Americans."

In 2005, representatives from NARUC, NACUSA, 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.

For more information about "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week," click here. To learn more about the Lifeline and Link-up programs, click here.

CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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