(or almost Free)
several methods to get Free,
or almost Free, cellular
service. One of them could work for you.
might qualify for subsidized cellular. Most
wireless carriers offer a government-subsidized
"Lifeline" or "Link-Up" service at a significantly reduced cost if you
can qualify based on your income. You may also qualify for the
Lifeline support lowers the cost of basic, monthly local telephone
service and can be Free or just a few dollars per month. An eligible
customer may receive the Lifeline discount on either a wireline or
wireless connection, but the discount is available for only one account
per household. Lifeline discounts do not apply to taxes or surcharges,
and don't relieve the account holder from paying the monthly bill.
Details on how to
sign up are below.
to receive Lifeline discounts vary by state. The qualifying programs
are either determined by each state's Public Utility Commission or the
federal Lifeline/Link-Up program. Some states and U.S. territories do
not provide state-funded discounts. If available, an individual may be
eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs:
receive Lifeline discounts in Tribal territories, you must reside on
land that meets the Bureau of Indian Affairs definition of a
reservation, specifically any federally recognized Native American
tribe's reservation within an eligible carrier's coverage area, based
on the zip code of your home address.
Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) or Section 8
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly Food
Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
School Lunch Program
Security Income (SSI)
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Age Pension (OAP)
to the Blind (AB)
to the Needy (AND)
of Tribal Territories*
your household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty
Guidelines, you may qualify for Lifeline based on income.
You will need to provide current documentation that shows
your household income. Contact your chosen carrier for details.
What Does LifeLine
services range from Free to $20 per month. Don't confuse
Lifeline plans with "Senior" plans that are offered by some companies.
Lifeline (also called "LifeLink") is supported by government subsidies.
Individual states have different subsidies and some states
Sign Up For LifeLine Service:
If you qualify, you can contact wired and wireless telephone companies
and ask about "Lifeline" service. You can shop among the programs to
see which one will give you the best offer. These programs are not
limited to your local telephone company, you can call your local
Take the Easy Way:
There are companies that provide service specifically to
customers across the nation such as Q
Link Wireless and SafeLink.
Not all carriers provide Lifeline service and not necessarily
in their entire coverage areas. Also, not
all states support
subsidized wireless service and not necessarily at the same subsidy
Some wireless carriers do not significantly discount LifeLine plans so
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that
helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for
work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet
service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households
on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a
one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer,
or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10
and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable
Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service
discount and one device discount per household.
Apply in 2 steps:
is Where to Apply
2) Then Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan
and have the discount applied to your bill.
Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask
you to complete.
Who Is Eligible for the Affordable
- A household is eligible for the Affordable
Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the
Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating
provider's existing low-income internet program
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School
Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Community Eligibility Provision schools
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8
- Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/202/811
- Public Housing
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Head Start (income based)
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians,
Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
Wireless from Boost Mobile!
BoostOne app enables consumers to earn rewards that can be used towards
free wireless discounts and free service every month across all service
plans. Boost Mobile’s BoostOne app allows users to earn
blockchain-backed “Boostcoins” by playing games, watching videos, and
engaging with thousands of partners to complete offers to earn coins
that can be redeemed for discounted and free wireless service.
the future, Boost expects the coins may be used for additional goods
and services like free phones, other third-party products and exchanged
with other users. The BoostOne app is available from the Apple Store
and Google Play.
Up for Boost One
Everybody qualifies for this! Almost
any digital cellular phone can call 911, sometimes even if the phone
screen shows "No Service." This means even discarded or deactivated
digital wireless phones can be set aside in a glove compartment or
night stand and used to summon help. Don't expect a cellular company to
give you one of these "free" phones. Instead, ask a friend or relative
if they'll give you one of their old phones. You can call the
associated carrier and ask if that particular phone model will work.
Some may be missing a "SIM" which can be found on eBay or from some
cellular stores. We include this option because it's possible, but we'd
rather spend a few dollars for
something more reliable.
Here are some important considerations for using an "old" cellular
phone for this kind of emergency-only use:
Call Must Truly be an Emergency
life and death situations, fires, injuries or other dangers to people
or property. They cannot be used to request a tow truck, gas refill or
- You Must be Within Cellular
phone must use a technology that is currently supported by US carriers:
GSM or CDMA. It cannot be from a foreign country or use analog or TDMA
(old Cingular and AT&T phones) technology.
- Never Call 911 to "Test" the
Call your local police or fire administrative number from a different
phone and ask for their assistance.
- Check the
Look at the indicator on a regular basis or keep a charger handy.
- If You Make an Emergency Call
Give the dispatcher complete information including where you are and
what is needed. Once you hang up they cannot call you back!
If you have a fairly new phone they may be able to
determine your general location, but not your specific address.
real Prepaid wireless plans than cost about $2-5 a month and
less! Don't expect to get a lot for a buck.
of the best low-cost plans is from Tello.
Their $5 introductory plan includes Calls and some
- For a little more, plans with more Talk, Text
Data can be as cheap as $10 per month. Really!