Once again, we are helping to raise awareness about one of the Universal Service Funds’ varied programs to help provide affordable telecommunications services to Americans.  This time it is the Tribal Lifeline Program, which provides discounted telephone services for those living on Tribal lands.

Those who live on Tribal lands are eligible to receive many additional benefits through the FCC’s Lifeline Program.  According to the FCC website, eligible telephone subscribers on Tribal lands may receive basic local phone service for as little as $1 a month.  Link-Up provides eligible consumers with a one-time initial hook-up discount. The discount is up to 50% the first $60 of your bill. The maximum discount is $30. For example, a $70 installation fee would cost an eligible subscriber $40.

Eligible residents of Tribal land include those who participate in Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF), or Head Start (those meeting its income qualifying standard).

Further eligibility information about the Tribal Lifeline Program can be found at http://transition.fcc.gov/indians/financialassistance.html. Those who live in a Great Plains Communications’ service area may also call us at 1-888-343-8014 for further information.

For those who are looking for assistance with their telephone bills who do not live on Tribal lands may still find help by applying for the Nebraska Telephone Assistance Program (NTAP). It can provide up to a $12.75 reduction in your monthly phone bill through a monthly credit and help subsidize installation fees.  If you participate in programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Housing Assistance or the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, you may qualify. Senior citizens on a fixed budget may be eligible as well.  Forms for the program can be found at the Nebraska Public Service Commission website.

We know how important having a landline can be for the safety and convenience of your family, particularly in rural Nebraska.  If you have any questions about these programs, we encourage you to call our Customer Response Center to get more information.

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