Telephone Service Discounts
The following services are provided to help people with low incomes better afford telephone installation/activation and service. For information about phone services for persons with disabilities, see Disability Services.
To qualify for any of the services listed here, persons must receive assistance from federal programs including but not limited to TennCare, Medicaid, SSI, and Food Stamps. Some persons who do not receive federal public assistance might qualify based on gross monthly income. To qualify, proof of income and benefits are required.
Please note: You cannot receive assistance from both the landline services and the wireless plans listed in this section. You can have either a land line or a wireless plan through these programs, but not both.
Landline Phone Service
Most local landline telephone providers offer the following discounted or free services for those who qualify.
Contact a local telephone provider or the TN Regulatory Authority (TRA) for information about these programs.
Discounted monthly rate for phone service for individuals who qualify.
Link Up Tennessee
Provides a discount for persons who cannot afford the entire installation and connection charges to have a telephone. Cost of installation can also be
spread over several months. No deposit for customers who request local service only when connecting through this program.
Wireless Phone Service
The following wireless (also known as mobile or cell) phone companies offer discounted or free plans for those who qualify. This is the Lifeline program, described above, for wireless phones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the services provided by these companies.
The companies listed here offer free cell phones and free basic wireless talk plans, with a specified number of monthly minutes.
Assurance Wireless: 1-888-898-4888
Basic plan provides 250 voice minutes each month. Additional plans (more monthly minutes, text plans, data plans) available for a fee (which varies,
depending on the plans the consumer wants). An automated phone system answers calls. Customer service representatives can be accessed easily if caller
needs more information. Can also apply through assurancewireless.com.
Safelink Wireless: 1-800-977-3768
Basic plans provide 68, 125, or 250 voice/text minutes each month. Additional minutes can be added by buying a phone card, available locally. No data plans
are available. An automated phone system will answer calls; it is possible but not easy to speak to a customer-service representative. Can also apply