Landline phones are increasingly becoming rare every day. This is because of the emergence of smartphones, which have taken their place. However, landlines are still a crucial tool of communication in many homes all over the country. Additionally, they are a cheaper, more secure, and reliable means of calling family and friends.
The downside is that landline phone services are costly, making them inaccessible to people from low-income backgrounds. Luckily, the government assists these groups through the Lifeline program.
You can get free landline phone services from companies participating in Lifeline, but you will need to sign up for and qualify to benefit. This post dives into what you need to do to get free government landline phone service and the companies that provide it.
Does The Government Really Provide Free Landline Phone Service
The landline phone services offered by the government aren’t exactly free. Instead, the government provides monthly discounts that range from $7.25-9.25 through the Lifeline program. People struggling with finances can apply for these discounts through specific landline phone service providers participating in the program.
These discounts go a long way in helping foot bills incurred from a landline, internet, and wireless services. People residing in tribal lands can get as much as $34.25 discounts to help cater to their landline, internet, and wireless services. In some cases, this discount helps to eliminate the cost of landline phone services.
How Can You Qualify For Free Government Landline Phone Service
As mentioned above, the Federal Government and some landline phone service providers work hand in hand to ensure that every struggling household has access to free phone services. However, to get free government landline phone service, you need to follow a set of guidelines for the Lifeline program laid down by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). These include:
1. Enroll In A Government Aided Program
The best way to qualify for free landline phone services from the government is to join one of the Federal Government’s assistance programs. If you’re already an active member of any of the programs listed below, then you will be eligible:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance/FPHA
- Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program/LIHEAP
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations/FDPIR
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP
- Head Start
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Tribal TANF
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income/SSI
2. Have a Low Income
The FCC dictates that only people whose income has not surpassed 135% of the Poverty Guidelines can be accepted into the Lifeline program. You will not be eligible for free government phone service if your income exceeds this limit.
Application Process For Free Government Landline Phone Service
You can complete the application process on the National Verifier online portal by following the simple procedure outlined below:
1. Check If You Qualify
The first step is to confirm that you meet all the above guidelines. You can proceed to the next stage once you are done.
2. Join the Lifeline Program
If you’re sure that you satisfy one or all of the guidelines of the Lifeline program, then you can begin the signing up process on the Lifeline Page.
3. Approval and Selecting a Landline Provider
You need to be patient until you’re accepted into the program. After that, you can choose your preferred landline service provider and join them. Alternatively, you can apply directly through the landline service provider of your choice. To do that, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Visit the official website of the landline phone service provider you want to send your application and download an application form.
- Step 2: Complete the application form with your accurate details and send it with your eligibility documents to your provider. If this process seems hectic, you can just complete your application online.
- Step 3: Your application will be reviewed, and if it is successful, you will start receiving free government landline phone service.
Before beginning your application process, you should have the following information: your residential address, legal name in full, and Social Security Number’s last four digits.
Top 5 Free Government Landline Phone Service Providers
Nowadays, you are more likely to find a wireless service provider as opposed to a landline phone service provider. However, there is still a good number of landline phone service providers that are still operational. This section looks at the best ones that participate in the Lifeline program.
CenturyLink is one of the most popular landline phone service providers taking part in the Lifeline program. Although they are constantly improving their technology to keep up with the current digital trends, they still serve a diminishing section of the population using landlines.
When you subscribe to their standard lifeline plan, you will receive as much as $9.25 monthly to help you settle your phone bills. On the other hand, if you reside in Tribal lands that the Federal Government recognizes, you can enjoy their Tribal lifeline plan. This plan provides a more significant discount and caters to any installation costs.
It is important to note that the type of CenturyLink plan you can access will depend on your location. You can check the available plans in your area by visiting the CenturyLink homepage and inputting your Zip Code.
Verizon is one of the largest telecommunication companies in the country. In terms of coverage, it ranks second behind AT&T. Thanks to this, consumers from different states can access their landline phone services.
Fortunately, Verizon also partakes in the Lifeline program making their phone services low-cost. Eligible customers can get as much as $9.25 knocked off their monthly phone bills. This brings the total cost of their Home Phone Connect plan to $10.74, down from $19.99.
As a result, you can enjoy long-distance calls domestically and unlimited minutes. There is a one-time $35 activation charge for every other plan except the tribal lifeline plan. The Verizon discounted phone service page contains more information about their lifeline plans. So you can check it out.
3. Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications is another free government landline service provider that has been around for more than six decades. Although their coverage is much smaller than other companies on our list, their phone services are still very reliable.
This company has three major home plans that it provides to its consumers. Each plan consists of internet services and unlimited talk time in the country, Mexico, and Canada. They include:
- A $37.99 monthly plan with a 6Mbps maximum speed internet connectivity
- A $44.99 monthly plan with a 25Mbps maximum speed internet connectivity
- A $54.99 monthly plan with a 45Mbps maximum speed internet connectivity
All the finer details about this landline phone service provider can be found on Frontier’s online portal. If not, you can contact their customer support representatives at 1-800-921-8101 for more info.
AT&T is one of the leading wireless service providers in America. This company offers its services in most of the states in the country. It also provides subsidized landline phone services due to its participation in the Lifeline assistance program. If you’re currently enrolled in the Lifeline program, you can receive a discount of $7.25 monthly. There is also a $25 discount for tribal lifeline-qualified customers.
There are two sets of home phone plans available at AT&T:
Nationwide plans are also known as stand-alone plans. They consist of the following;
- A $3.99 monthly plan that allows you to make calls for as low as 10 cents/minute.
- A $16.99 monthly plan that gives you 150 minutes which you can use to call nationwide and charges 10 cents for every additional minute.
- A $33.99 monthly plan that gives you unlimited calls nationwide
Worldwide plans are additional plans that AT&T offers to make its service more attractive to consumers. They include:
- A $1.99 monthly plan that offers you cheap rates per minute when making calls around the globe.
- A $6.99 monthly plan that allows you to make unlimited calls to Canada daily.
TDS has been in the telecommunication industry for several years now. If you want an unforgettable experience when it comes to landline phone services, then this company is probably your best bet. You can get a standard lifeline discount from TDS telecom if you cannot afford to pay your phone bills. On condition that you’re an active member of the Lifeline program.
Signing up for TDS landline phone services allows you to enjoy many features such as call waiting, special call acceptance, caller ID function, and voicemail, to name a few. Learn more about the TDS Landline services or contact one of the TDS customer support teams at 1-866-734-0704 if you have any queries.
Best Affordable Landline Phones
There is a wide range of landline phones available in the market today. Below are some of the best ones you can get at a budget-friendly price after applying the lifeline discount:
1. Panasonic KX-TGC352B DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone
This Panasonic landline phone features a cordless design that makes it flexible to use from anywhere inside your house or office. It boasts voice assistance technology such as SIRI and S Voice. There is a dedicated button meant for blocking calls from unwanted numbers. This device has a caller ID feature that lets you know who is calling before you pick up.
- Extended battery life
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Extra-large keys
- Loud ringer
- Caller ID
- Noise reduction feature
2. AT&T CL4940 Corded Speakerphone with an Answering System
This corded phone saves you the hassle of looking for a misplaced cordless phone. The CL4940 is rich with impressive features. To start with, it has a digital answering system suitable for the elderly. Additionally, it comes with large buttons and displays text in extra-large fonts.
- Hearing aid compatible
- Display is backlit
- Last number redial
- Audio assist
- Mountable on the wall or table
- Mute button
- Visual ringing Indicator
3. AT&T 210M Trimline Corded Telephone
The Trimline Corded phone features a sturdy design that makes it less susceptible to accidental damage. It comes with a lit keypad that allows you to use it comfortably at night or in the dark. It also has the last number redial feature for convenience.
- Mountable on the table or wall
- One-touch memory buttons
- Hearing aid compatibility
- Line power mode
- Speed dial consisting of 10 numbers
- Receiver volume control
Despite how popular smartphones have become, many people still use landline phone services. This is because they have good audio clarity and are easier to use. However, their usage comes at a very hefty cost.
It would be best if you considered signing up for free government landline phone service. Luckily, this article has summarized the best free landline phone service providers in the market and what else they offer. It is up to you to weigh between them and pick one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A couple of companies provide landline phone services at a low cost. They include Ooma Landline, which charges $0-10 every month, Cox Landline, which charges $20 every month, and Xfinity Landline, which charges $30 monthly. All these subscriptions include unlimited calls.
Yes, you can still get landline phone services in certain areas within the country. However, many wireless service providers opted to package their home phone service with broadband and TV services, so it might be challenging to find one.
One of the main reasons you should not get rid of your landline just yet is if an emergency occurs. Landlines will come in handy if there is a power outage or an interruption to the regular cell phone network.
Yes, there is. An example is MagicJack, a VoIP. VoIP utilizes an internet connection to make calls to any place across the globe.
Landlines are already being phased out but are set to go obsolete by 2050