Joins NARUC, NASUCA, FCC and CTIA Members to Promote Lifeline and Link-Up Telephone Assistance Programs
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA–The Wireless Association® joins the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and our members to promote Lifeline and Link-Up telephone assistance programs. During the "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week," CTIA supports efforts to educate low-income and rural consumers about these federal and state programs that provide financial assistance for telecommunication services, including wireless. As millions of Americans can attest, the ability to communicate at anytime and anywhere, especially during emergency situations, is vital and may save lives.
As with all USF programs, Lifeline and Link-Up are funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is funded solely by wireline and wireless consumers on their monthly bills and has no impact on the federal budget. Carriers remit the collections to the FCC, which is responsible for administering USF programs. Lifeline offers assistance with basic telephone service, whereas Link-Up helps pay for the initial telephone installation. Depending on their state, consumers receive up to $10 per month in discounts for their telephone services. Link-Up pays for half the initial installation fee, no more than $30 for wireline service, or the activation fee for a wireless telephone as a primary residence.
"CTIA and the wireless industry are proud to support the 'National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week' to help highlight the Lifeline and Link-Up programs so low-income or rural consumers have access to telecom services," said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. "These programs make Congressionally-mandated access to telecom service available to eligible consumers, and should be updated with a focus on mobility that so many consumers demand. That's why we support universal service programs that are technology-neutral and allow consumers to choose the services that best meet their needs. We are also committed to working with policymakers to update Lifeline and Link-Up for the broadband age so consumers can stay connected with the revolutionizing world of wireless technology."
The Universal Service Fund was created as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to promote quality and affordable telecommunications services for low-income citizens, rural healthcare providers, schools and libraries and consumers in high-cost areas. In 2010, consumers contributed about $8.7 billion for the federal USF program through their monthly wireline and wireless telephone bills. 43 percent of the fund comes from wireless consumers. As part of the USF's low-income program, qualified consumers choose either a wireline or wireless service.
For more information about "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week," click here.
CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, DC.
SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association