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Public Service Commission


NEWS RELEASE


07/13/2010 Contact: 850-413-6482

T-Mobile Designated as Eligible Telecommunications Carrier


TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today designated T-Mobile South (T-Mobile) as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC), so it can now receive High-Cost and Low-Income support from the Federal Universal Service Fund.

With its approved designation, T-Mobile will be able to expand its facilities more quickly in rural areas, thus lowering service costs to rural residents.  T-Mobile will also be required to demonstrate that High-Cost funding was used to invest in infrastructure in Florida during annual ETC Certification.  The company also plans to offer the Lifeline Assistance discount telephone service in some areas of Florida.

T-Mobile’s Lifeline customers will receive a discounted or free handset based upon the contract term and type of phone.  Lifeline customers will get 145 “whenever” minutes, 500 night minutes, and 500 weekend minutes per month for $6.49 per month ($19.99 plan with $13.50 Lifeline discount applied).  Unused minutes will not carry over to the next month.

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 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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