2014

Telecom Provider Sage Telecom Urges Low-Income Customers to Take Advantage of Lifeline Program Phone Benefits Despite Tighter Restrictions, Government Discounts on Home Phone and Cell Phone Service Are Still Available to Those in Need

DALLAS, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In recent weeks, media coverage of the federal Lifeline program phone discount has exploded as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed that, due to tightened eligibility requirements, millions of customers will stop receiving discounts on their wireline and wireless phone service. Sage Telecom, a Dallas-based provider of home phone and cell phone service, wants to help educate consumers about their options for phone service, whether or not they qualify under the new guidelines.

The Lifeline program was created so that low-income consumers would have access to "the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services," according to the FCC.

For over a decade, Sage Telecom has provided Lifeline home phone service to customers facing economic hardships, identifying consumers likely to be eligible for discounts, verifying that they meet requirements, and assisting them with locating resources and filling out necessary forms.

"Lifeline provides peace of mind and opens the door for opportunities to people across the country who need assistance, whether temporarily or long term," said Nathan R. Johnson, Co-CEO of Sage Telecom. "We go to great lengths to make sure Sage is abiding by the rules put forth by the FCC, but we also strive to offer customers service and price points that make staying connected easier."

Though the Lifeline program was established with home-based landline phones in mind, the economic recession and growing population of individuals living in a shared-housing situation or without a home at all, resulted in the need for mobile phone service subsidies as well.

Unfortunately, with the transition to mobile phones, new providers popped up, new customers applied, and not everyone has played by the rules. Be it through misunderstanding of the regulations, lack of resources to meet the requirements, or blatant disregard for the requirements, some companies and customers have taken advantage of the program, jeopardizing its future for those who desperately need it.

Sage has a long history as a conservative, honest, and fair telecom service provider, taking great care to meet regulatory requirements and maintaining an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

"We have always put an emphasis on making sure we are going the extra mile in qualifying customers who genuinely need the Lifeline program," said Johnson. "There has been a lot of discussion recently by the FCC on the verification process of other carriers. At Sage, customers must verify their eligibility before being enrolled in the program. The customer only receives the Lifeline discount when they have satisfied the verification process."

Some customers may be confused or intimidated by what they think will be a difficult qualification process. Sage helps customers determine whether they're eligible for the discounts, and if they can't meet the requirements for some reason, Sage helps them choose from one of their other low-cost home phone and cell phone plans.

Customers on a tight budget who do not meet Lifeline eligibility requirements can take advantage of Sage's low cost home phone service or their no contract, prepaid mobile plans, which start at $14 and include a free phone.

"We are preparing Sage Telecom for the next decade," commented Johnson. "As reforms continue, we will continue to abide by the changing rules and help our customers to understand the steps they need to take to prove eligibility and secure their phone service so they can stay connected."

About Sage
Sage Telecom, Inc. is known for providing cost-effective local, long distance, mobile phone, high-speed internet, and nationwide mobile broadband service. Sage's goal of helping customers stay connected for less, as well as their easy-to-understand calling plans and high quality customer service help them stand out as a telecommunications service provider.

For more information on Sage and its services, please visit http://www.sagetelecom.net/.

Sage's sister companies and products include Telscape Communications, www.telscape.com, and Web on the Go, www.webonthego.com.

SOURCE Sage Telecom, Inc.



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