Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Universal Service Fund

Nebraska Lifeline Program

Great Plains Communications is raising awareness on one of the Universal Service Funds’ varied programs to help provide affordable telecommunications services to Americans. We are looking at the Nebraska Lifeline Program or Lifeline Phone Bill Assistance.

The Lifeline Program ensures that low-income households have access to quality telephone service. It could be combined with Link Up and Toll Limitation Service. The Lifeline program reduces the price for monthly telephone charges for basic service and allows those with income constraints to enjoy the benefits of a telephone service.

Eligible subscribers include those who participate in:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance / Section 8
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribally Administered TANF
  • Head Start (income qualifying / residents of Tribal Lands only)

We know how important having a landline can be for safety and convenience of your family, particularly in rural Nebraska. For additional information on the Nebraska Lifeline Program, visit http://www.phone-bill-assistance.com/lifeline/NE. If you have any questions or would like to apply, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Nationally Recognized Experts Meet to Explore Nebraska Universal Service Fund

Dodge County served as an important backdrop to showcase the value of the Nebraska Universal Service Fund (NUSF) this past Wednesday.

As part of an informational trip that included testifying before the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee of the Nebraska State Legislature, two nationally-recognized experts on the Federal Universal Service Fund toured the central office facilities of Great Plains Communications in North Bend.  The tour included a visit to one of the company’s fiber splicing trailers and the several network distribution locations across Dodge County.

The advocates are Harold Furchtgott-Roth, former Federal Communications Commission member and key expert on the Federal Universal Service Fund, and Cheryl Parrino, former CEO of the Universal Service Administrative Company and former chair of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.  Furchtgott-Roth and Parrino are knowledgeable on telecommunications issues and testified on the significance of the NUSF to Nebraskans.

Established by the Nebraska Legislature in 1997 and implemented by the Public Service Commission, the NUSF provides funding under various programs for deployment and maintenance of broadband and voice services in rural areas across the state.

“As I traveled from Blair to North Bend and on to Fremont, looking out over the vast rolling farm fields with rows and rows of corn yet to be harvested and the cattle grazing along the creek beds, it emphasized for me how important universal service is to these farmers, ranchers and communities,” Parrino said.  “Broadband services made possible by the NUSF provide an all-important communications link for commerce, tele-health, education, farming and ranching so that these communities and their citizens can survive and prosper.”

“Having national advocates of the Universal Service Fund visit Nebraska is an exciting and important part of ensuring the NUSF stays strong.  We are happy that we could help bring these two respected minds to our state to share their knowledge,” said Casey Garrigan, a representative of Great Plains Communications.