California LifeLine Telephone Program

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I wanted to share some urgent information with you about the changes to the California LifeLine Telephone  Program.  You may already be aware that California’s LifeLine Telephone Service program has been expanded to include mobile phones for low income consumers, in addition to California’s current Landline phone services.  This means that low income consumers will soon be able to choose either a landline or a cell phone as their choice of communication. 

Our goal is to make sure that the program is affordable, meets the needs of individuals who need enough minutes to find jobs, talk to their Doctors, social workers, or families, have access to local 911 emergency services and quality service!   

We have also scheduled a meeting with Commissioner Sandoval from 11 to 2  on June 12 to discuss what issues are impacting the residents of San Diego.  Would you also be available to attend that meeting?   

Can you also help us get the word out to the community you work with about the upcoming Public Participation Hearing  in San Diego on:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Al Bahr Shriners Center
 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd.

This is an opportunity for the public to shape a wireless LifeLine program that has brought essential phone service to millions of eligible consumers!  Please help us bring people out to June 12 hearing and  

Please note that this does not affect the Federal LifeLine program that currently offers 250 free minutes.  That is a different program.

Background:

In 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted changes to the California's Lifeline program that paved the way for LifeLine discounts to be applied to wireless services, VoIP services, and other "alternative" services that can meet the current "basic service" definition. 

Soon after, the CPUC began a process to update the definition of basic phone services for all of California’s telephone consumers, including LifeLine customers. Community leaders and individuals have been urging the CPUC to adopt a definition that supports high quality, reliable basic telephone services regardless if consumers use landline, wireless, or Internet voice phone services. 

Some companies want to see the basic phone service requirements weakened.  But, technological advancements should result in improved service, not degraded service.  Cell phone companies, and others, should have to improve their service and offer affordable and reliable phone services in their service areas to meet the standards. 

Today, in order to receive public funding, a company must offer a “basic service” that meets the CPUC’s basic phone service requirements. 

Please feel free to contact me for more information. I can be reached at (415) 954-8094.

Sincerely, Ana M. Montes