Getting Started

Telecommunications service keeps people connected to vital parts of their lives, from family and friends to work to doctors, police, and fire fighters. For some people, though, the costs of service can be too high.

To keep all Americans connected, telecommunications companies can get support from the Lifeline Program. Low-income consumers can receive discounts on initiating and maintaining telecommunications services. Carrying out a policy in existence since 1985, the Lifeline Program is designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to eligible consumers at just, reasonable, and affordable rates.

Want to get started?

If you are interested in applying for the Lifeline Program to receive discounts, or you are trying to locate information in your state, this information is available at The first step you need to take is to determine if you are eligible for the program. Try using the Pre-Screening Tool to determine your eligibility.

If you're a telecom carrier, the first step is to learn about eligibility. Are you an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC)? If not, you can become one. If you are, does your company have a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN)? If not, you'll need to obtain one. Once you're a registered ETC, you can begin advertising the Lifeline Program and receiving support from USAC. You'll also need to verify consumer eligibility along the way.