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Public Service Commission


NEWS RELEASE


12/29/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida Public Service Commission Lifeline Report Highlights Automated Enrollment


TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today touted the results of its new user-friendly enrollment method for low-income families to receive essential phone service. Launched in October, more than 400 people have already taken advantage of the online enrollment process for the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance Program. The encouraging results are one of the highlights included in the Commission’s annual Link-Up Florida/ Lifeline report to be submitted to the state legislature and Governor.

"The Commission’s newly enhanced method of enrollment for the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance programs will make phone service readily available to more eligible applicants,” said Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. “We remain committed to increasing participation in the Lifeline program, ensuring eligible Floridians receive assistance with their telephone needs.”

The Lifeline Automated Online Application is accessible on the PSC website. The new process allows a consumer to enter their information and submit an application online, eliminating the need to print, fill out, and mail or fax a request for the benefit to their telephone company.

The Commission anticipates increasing enrollment further in early 2007 by coordinating the enrollment process with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to enroll DCF clients who qualify for the telephone assistance programs.

The Florida Lifeline program can help keep phone service affordable by providing a credit of $13.50 to qualified low-income consumers on their monthly telephone bills. The Florida Link-Up program provides a 50% reduction in the telephone installation charge up to a maximum of $30.

More than 49,000 new consumers enrolled in the two programs in 2006. Total enrollment in Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance, as of September 2006, is more than 145,000.  To access the Lifeline Assistance and Link-Up Florida applications or for more information on the programs, visit www.floridapsc.com.

In addition to regulating telecommunications, the PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in three key areas: rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.



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