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NEWS RELEASE


05/18/2010 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Advances Prepaid Wireless Lifeline Assistance; Virgin Mobile ETC Application Approved


TALLAHASSEE — Virgin Mobile is the second prepaid wireless provider to be designated by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) to offer the Lifeline Assistance discount telephone service program in Florida.  Commissioners unanimously approved the designation at today’s PSC Agenda Conference.

Virgin Mobile’s Lifeline Assistance plan provides a free E911-compliant handset to eligible consumers and 200 minutes of airtime per month at no charge.  Voice mail, caller ID, and call waiting are also included.  Additional minutes can be purchased through prepaid cards wherever Virgin Mobile products and services are sold for $0.10 per minute and $0.15 per text.  Unused minutes will not carry over to the next month.

“Lifeline Assistance offered through prepaid wireless phones is helping many more low-income Floridians obtain phone service,” said PSC Chairman Nancy Argenziano.  “Virgin Mobile’s affordable Lifeline plan will allow even more eligible residents to stay connected.”

The Lifeline Assistance program helps low-income Floridians receive and keep essential telephone service by providing a discount to qualified consumers.  Residents who participate in certain public assistance programs or have a qualifying income level are eligible to receive a $13.50 monthly telephone bill discount – more than $160 per year – under the program.  More than 618,000 Floridians currently participate in the Lifeline program.

Customers can apply for Lifeline Assistance through the Florida Department of Children and Families’ automated application process, the PSC’s Lifeline Assistance web page at www.floridapsc.com/ConsumerAssistance/LifelineAssistance, or by contacting a service provider.

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

For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.



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