Eligible customers participating in the Lifeline program in Florida increased 13 percent this year, according to the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Annual Lifeline Report released today. The automatic enrollment process is a major reason cited for the largest annual increase since the program’s inception in 1995.
As of September 2007, 164,626 eligible customers participated in the Lifeline program providing telephone service discounts of $162 annually. Embarq-Florida and AT&T-Florida experienced the largest increase in Lifeline participation among Florida’s eligible telecommunications carriers during the review period.
In the Lifeline automatic enrollment process, initiated in April by the PSC and Department of Children and Families (DCF), applicants for programs administered by DCF are asked if they are interested in receiving a $13.50 monthly discount on their phone service. If they check yes and are approved for a DCF program, their information is electronically sent to the PSC to be forwarded to the appropriate telephone company for enrollment in the Lifeline program. In accordance with Florida law, all Lifeline applicant information is handled in a confidential manner.
“The automatic enrollment process initiated earlier this year by the PSC has been successful in helping us reach more eligible consumers,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. “We appreciate the work of the Department of Children and Families in helping us make automatic enrollment happen in Florida.”
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 monitors safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit http://www.floridapsc.com/.