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NEWS RELEASE


09/13/2010 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC's Second National Lifeline Awareness Week Kicks Off in Apalachicola


TALLAHASSEE — Promoting affordable phone service for Florida’s low-income consumers, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today kicked off its second National Lifeline Awareness Week in Apalachicola to help residents affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Area residents learned how to save $162 annually on their local phone bills through the Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Awareness discounted telephone programs.

Highlighting the success of Florida’s Lifeline program, PSC Commissioner Lisa Polak Edgar, was joined at the kick off by the Honorable Van Johnson, Mayor, City of Apalachicola, and J.R. Kelly, Public Counsel.

“This year's National Lifeline Awareness Week helps highlight our work with residents in our coastal communities who can benefit from these money-saving programs,” said Commissioner Edgar.  “The national spotlight on Link-Up and Lifeline, coupled with our efforts in Franklin County and its surrounding communities, will help these consumers afford one of today’s basic necessities – phone service.”

Joining other states this week to raise awareness, Florida’s kick off begins a series of statewide events to reach residents who are eligible for the programs.  Events in Macclenny on Tuesday, Pensacola and Ft. Walton Beach on Wednesday, Tampa on Thursday, and Ft. Lauderdale on Friday will include representatives from the PSC, local telephone companies, and the Office of Public Counsel to help eligible participants sign up for the programs.

“Some of our most vulnerable residents and those affected by the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill depend on assistance at this time.  For these residents, the telephone is vital to finding jobs or contacting needed community services,” said Mayor Johnson.  “I appreciate the PSC, the Public Counsel, and the companies for making these services accessible for our residents.”

The federal Lifeline Assistance program offers customers who participate in certain public assistance programs a basic telephone service discount of at least $13.50 per month, or $162 per year.  Link-Up Florida provides a 50 percent reduction in the telephone service installation charge, up to a maximum of $30, for qualifying households that do not currently have telephone service.  Both landline and wireless providers offer the Lifeline program.  To access Lifeline applications and for more information, visit www.floridapsc.com.

“Every person in America should have access to quality, affordable telecommunications service,” said Public Counsel Kelly. “Lifeline Awareness Week is helping us spread the word that affordable phone service is a reality.”



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