Free Cell Phones For The Poor - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Free Cell Phones For The Poor

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Never before has the ring of a cell phone sounded so melodious to Mary Coleman.

"My daughter first found out about it," Coleman said.

One reason it sounds so good is because the phone and the service are free. Coleman is among the growing number of low-income Alabamians who are answering the call of 'Lifeline.'

'Lifeline' is the service started by the Federal Communications Commission in 1984 but didn't really come to the forefront until '96 when the Telecommunications Act opened up competition to new wireless providers.

Mary Coleman says this is a godsend because Lifeline is specifically geared towards those living below the poverty guideline.

"My income status changed and I had a sickness," said Coleman.

Tracfone, a Florida company, says it's leading the way in providing free phones AND service to the poor. Under the Lifeline program, carriers such as Tracfone get government subsidies that actually pay for the free services Coleman is getting. Tracfone says it's receiving up to $10 in subsidies per household.

Coleman, meantime, says her phone was a gift to herself for her 60th birthday two months ago and already it's come in handy when she ran out of gas on Interstate 85 North in Montgomery.

"I ran out of gas but I was able to call my son and he came got me," Coleman remembered.

To qualify people like Coleman must show proof that they meet federal low-income guidelines. The phone barely weighs anything but for Mary Coleman it proved its weight in gold that day on the interstate.

Nationwide well over a  million people are receiving free wireless service. Tracfone would not say just how many Alabamians are getting free service.

Mary Coleman says she's allowed a little more than 70 minutes per month airtime but only uses around 35 minutes.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:16 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:16:41 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
  • Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Exit polls suggest Irish voters have repealed abortion ban

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:15 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:15:45 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license

    Friday, May 25 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:02:34 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:15 PM EDT2018-05-26 00:15:26 GMT
    (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.(Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly