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Tennesssee first sate to benefit from SafeLink Wireless program
Posted: 13-Aug-2008 [Source: SafeLink Wireless]

[SafeLink Wireless program set to offer free, government-supported wireless service including a free cell phone to eligible low-income households in Tennessee.]

TracFone Wireless, the Tennessee Department of Safety, local nonprofits and elected-officials will launch SafeLink Wireless® to aid 812,807 low-income households in Tennessee. Through this much-needed service to struggling families, the SafeLink Wireless service will provide Tennessee’s eligible low-income households a free cell phone, unlimited mobile access to emergency services (911), and over an hour of air time each month for up to one year. (Participants may renew service and will be required to re-submit eligibility documentation upon their year completion. More information will be provided during media interviews.) The cell phone offers in-demand features: free voicemail account, text, call waiting, international calling to over 60 destinations and caller ID.

During an exclusive press conference held at the State’s Capitol, media will learn about:

* The importance of the SafeLink Wireless program to low-income families in TN, and how these struggling households will benefit from this public assistance initiative.

* The SafeLink Wireless program details, including free airtime, allocated minutes, unlimited access to emergency services, etc.

* How valuable mobile phones are during a time of need: emergency situation at home, car breaks down on road, a child’s school needing to contact a parent, seeking employment, remaining in touch with employers, staying connected to family and friends, etc.

* The SafeLink Wireless program eligibility requirements, application process, etc. Daily, millions of Americans depend on mobile telecommunications for a wide range of basic activities including: calling emergency services, searching for employment, staying connected with loved ones, and much more. SafeLink Wireless is a U.S. government supported program for income eligible households provided by TracFone Wireless, Inc. that ensures telephone service is available and affordable for eligible low income households. Over 812,807 households in Tennessee qualify for the Lifeline services.

Consider the following statistics:

* For people who cannot afford cell phones, being part of today’s connected world and performing these crucial day-to-day needs is near impossible.

* According to the FCC, about 7.1 million households across the nation do not have telephones (July, 2006), and more than 13 percent with an income under $10,000 do not have telephone service.

* Low income families struggle paying monthly bills, experience credit issues, and cannot afford traditional home phone and wireless services.

* Using public pay phones regularly pose problems and cell phone contracts often are difficult to maintain due to costly usage charges over long-term agreements.

* A recent study (“Cell Phones Provide Significant Economic Gains for Low-Income American Households,” April 2008) analyzed the impact of mobile phones on low-income households, and uncovered the cell phone is a critical component for personal safety, access to emergency services, and can potentially increase a low-income family’s economic productivity and earning power.

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