Many of us take for granted that we can pick up our phone, dial our friends and family and stay connected with the rest of the world.
Or that we can hop online and shoot a friend an e-mail, access vital government services or apply for a job. Access to voice and broadband services has become such a routine part of our lives that we hardly even think about it anymore.
But imagine what it would be like if you were suddenly laid off from your job and couldn’t afford to pay your telecommunications bill. Imagine if you worked one or two jobs and barely made enough to pay the rent and had to sacrifice your voice and broadband service.
Unfortunately, too many people in the United States and in Georgia face this problem every day and do not have even access to basic telecommunications service. In our state, approximately 780,000 people cannot afford any kind of telecommunications service and are disconnected from friends, family and emergency services. These consumers cannot even dial 911.
There is good news, though. Many of these consumers may qualify for an assistance program – Lifeline – that discounts a portion of their monthly telecommunications bill. Lifeline provides qualified consumers savings on voice, broadband or voice-broadband bundled services.
As a commissioner on the Georgia Public Service Commission, I am participating in a national event, Lifeline Awareness Week, September 10-14, 2018, to raise awareness of, and participation in, these important public-assistance programs.
Lifeline helps low income consumers connect to the nation’s communications networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family and call for help in an emergency.
Our goal is to connect as many people as possible. We hope that by raising awareness of Lifeline, we can ensure that more consumers can call their friends, their families and life-saving services. In today’s highly interconnected world, no one should be left out.
For more information, contact the Commission at 404-656-4501 – 1-800-282-5813 outside Metro Atlanta, or visit our website at www.psc.state.ga.us
Georgia Public Service Commission