What If Your State Isn’t Covered by the Large Carriers?
Options for Residents in States Not Covered by the Big Three
The Lifeline Assistance Program allows customers in many states to get a free cell phone and free monthly minutes in many states. The number of states where residents can get free cell phones has steadily increased over the period since the Lifeline Program was extended to include cell phones. Unfortunately, the Program has not been extended to all of the 50 states yet. As of now, the following states do not have any coverage from the three large free cell phone providers, Assurance Wireless, Reachout Wireless and Safelink Wireless under the Lifeline Plan: Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Fortunately, if you are a resident of one of those states you’re not left completely empty-handed. What are your options if you live in one of these states, but still want a cell phone?
1. Be patient.
If you are after a free cell phone, it just may be a matter of time before the program is offered in your state. The cell phone providers are aggressively trying to expand their reaches for this program. For instance, Safelink Wireless has announced plans on their site to expand to several of the above states states. However, some of these applications have been pending for some time. However, with strong competition between the carriers, it is sure that once a state approves one carrier, others are soon to follow. You can bookmark our site and check back with us as we update this site with announcements of expansion.
2. Consider regional or smaller carriers
The 3 carriers, Assurance Wireless, Reachout Wireless and Safelink Wireless are not the only providers of free government cell phones to low-income Americans. There are several smaller companies that also operate in many states. Companies like Q-Link Wireless operate in some states that the other carriers don’t.
3. Consider discounted service
The Lifeline Assistance Program offers discounts to help disadvantaged families pay for cell phone service. Each of the companies that receive funds via the Universal Service Fund at the maximum rate of $10 per Lifeline customer. The company determines how they can use those funds to provide cost-effective cell phone service to people across the nation. Some companies find that they are able to offer free phones and minutes with the subsidies they receive. Other companies offer discounts to their paid service.
While our name is cellularphones4free.com, we’d be only be doing part of our job if we didn’t discuss some of the carriers that provide discounted service providers that help many homes pay for their service. Some of these plans are quite affordable in lieu of free cell phone service. For example, Alaska is a state which has not approved free cell phone providers Nevertheless, there are two cell phone providers that provide unlimited nationwide talk minutes and text messages for only $1 a month! The FCC has also created the Enhanced Lifeline plan, which provides deep discounts to those living in Tribal Lands in many states across the US. Many of these plans, which have decent talk minute plans, discount phone service to just a $1 as well. Sometimes free is not always best!
Unfortunately, plans that good are the exception rather than the rule, and there aren’t many others like it. However, if it fits your budget, you could get a very affordable phone and a good supply of talk minutes for a very accessible amount. If you’re a resident of one of the states not listed for free phones and are interested in seeing what kind of discounts are available for you, please see our Discounted Lifeline Phones page and click on your state. Unfortunately, we cannot cover every carrier, but we’d like to give you some of the highlights in each state.
Click here to be taken to our Discounted Cell phones page.
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