It is hard to remember what it was like to live without cell phones in the past! These days, cell phones are basically small computers that we can keep in our pockets. Having a cell phone has become a necessity for that reason. You might not be aware that there are opportunities to get one for free from select carriers! In addition to that, there are programs offering extra features to consumers like free international calling and unlimited mobile data. Buying a phone can be expensive and some people just don’t have the extra cash laying around for that. If you relate to that, these opportunities may be able to really benefit you!
Where Can You Get a Phone for Free?
The Lifeline program makes it possible for certain carriers to give away phones to qualifying individuals. Not only that, but you could even get a discount on the cost of services from the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)! In order to understand how you can take advantage of these opportunities, you’ll need to know how both programs work.
Understanding the Lifeline Program
Lifeline offers qualifying households a monthly discount on communication services like their telephone and broadband internet. The discount that they offer is up to $9.25 in most areas. However, qualifying families that live on tribal land can get more than three times that! Lifeline offers up to $34.25 to these households.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is responsible for the operations. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers this program. Part of what they do is determining who is eligible for the program. In addition to that they can provide assistance with the Lifeline application and recertification process!
Understanding the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Having a phone is great for when you’re on the go, but having a computer and an internet connection at home is also necessary for many families! Another helpful program you can consider is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). With ACP, households can qualify for a $100 discount on an electronic devices including:
- Desktop computer
Not only that, ACP also gives recipients a discount of up to $30 per month on broadband services. For households located on tribal land the discount is up to $75 per month. ACP is also offered by the FCC. There are a few ways that a household can be eligible for this program. First, a household may qualify if their income level isn’t greater than a certain threshold. Another way is if any of the following applies to one household member:
- Currently a recipient of an existing federal assistance programs
- Got a Pell Grant for the most current award year
- Qualifies for an existing low-income internet program determined by a participating provider
These Carriers are Giving Away Phones for Free
Now that you understand how these opportunities are made possible, let’s get to the juicy stuff! Who is giving away free phones? The following providers offer a variety of opportunities to their customers:
- Assurance Wireless
- True Wireless
- Safelink Wireless
It is important to keep in mind that all of the providers aren’t available in every area. The USAC has a tool that searches for carriers that serve where you live. This is a helpful tool when you’re considering which carrier to go with. Although these are smaller providers than some of the biggest names in the industry, they get the job done! All that matters is that they offer a reliable network and a sufficient phone.
If you would like to see if you can get connected with TruConnect, you can check out their website and give your email address and zip code! This carrier has opportunities for customers to get free wireless internet services in addition to a free phone. That means qualifying customers might be able to benefit from both Lifeline and ACP by using this provider. With Lifeline, this program offers unlimited talk and text services, as well as international calling to a selection of countries. Then with ACP, consumers can get up to 14GB of data per month. Lastly, this provider also offers a free Android phone or Wi-Fi hotspot.
This provider offers monthly plans that include unlimited data, minutes, and text messaging for free. 10GB of mobile hotspot data is also included at no cost. The best part is that they offer all of this on top of a free phone! A customer must meet federal or state requirements in order to be eligible for this opportunity. Assurance Wireless is able to provide these services to low-income households because of the Lifeline program.
This carrier provides consumers with a free LTE Android device and unlimited phone service. Some consumers may even be able to get a free Android tablet too! What’s worth highlighting is True Wireless’ belief that everyone has the right to affordable communication. This is because they feel that access to these services can provide safety, connection, and opportunity. In order to provide their services to households in need, they have partnered with the Lifeline program and the ACP.
The last on the list is Safelink Wireless. This company provides a free smartphone as well as other services! These benefits are awarded to qualifying households and individuals. Qualifying customers can get up to 25GB of high-speed data and 5GB of hotspot data. In addition to that, they have unlimited talk and text and calls to Canada and Mexico.
Having access to the internet is more important than ever both inside and outside of your home! It seems like you need to download an app for everything from your bus schedule to grocery store coupons. However, purchasing a cell phone and paying for monthly communication services is a costly expense. Fortunately, the federal government is aware that these services are a necessity! The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers both Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to assist households with this cost.
These federal programs also make it possible for a variety of phone carriers to deliver helpful opportunities to qualifying consumers. Consumers can take advantage of special offers, like unlimited data and even a free phone! If you would like to benefit from the opportunities these carriers provide, first you’ll need to see what carriers are available in your area. You can find that information with the online tool provided by the USAC. This search will show you what carriers offer services with Lifeline and ACP near you. If you would like more information on Lifeline or ACP, visit their websites!