National Lifeline Awareness Week

Consumer Action and AT&T spread word about affordable phone service for those who need it most

Click here for a Spanish version of this press release.

Click here for a Chinese version of this press release.

SAN FRANCISCO — Consumer Action, a non-profit advocacy and education organization, and AT&T California have teamed up to raise awareness of California’s Lifeline program, the State’s landmark subsidized residential phone service program for low income residents. September 13-19 is national “Lifeline Awareness Week.”

The purpose of National Lifeline Awareness Week is to ensure that eligible low-income consumers are aware of the Lifeline program and are able to obtain affordable telephone service through this program. Public Utilities Commissions and telecommunications companies in states across the U.S. are working to get the word out on this important program.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is planning a number of events throughout the state to help raise the awareness of one of the country’s best lifeline programs. Click here for more information. AT&T is participating in a number of LifeLine promotion events across the state.

“California’s LifeLine telephone program is among the best in the country. The cost is low and no other state comes close to the number of consumers that benefit,” said Ken McEldowney, Executive Director of Consumer Action. “Unfortunately, many who are eligible aren’t on the program yet.”

“Keeping people connected is essential, and California LifeLine provides significant discounts that can make a big difference in people’s lives,” said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California. “We’re doing our part to help those who need it know what their options are, and that’s why we’ve set up toll free hotlines in multiple languages.”

Under the California LifeLine program, qualifying consumers receive discounted local phone service. All California telephone companies that provide residential service offer the California LifeLine program. As more and more consumers struggle to pay their bills in today’s tough economy, it’s more important than ever for lower-income Californians to be aware of this program so they can stay connected.

The California LifeLine program provides low-income Californians with discounted home phone service they can rely on. Millions of Californians already take advantage of the LifeLine program.

Rules established by the CPUC allow customers to qualify for the program in one of two ways:

  • By participating in an approved public assistance program including: Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • By meeting certain household income limits.

Consumer Action, together with AT&T, developed a LifeLine guidebook to help consumers understand the benefits of the program and how to apply. The guidebook is available online and in print in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Consumers can see the publication online at or send a stamped, self-addressed, legal-sized envelope to Consumer Action, 221 Main St., Suite 480, San Francisco, CA 94105.

California residents who believe they may be eligible can learn more about the program by calling AT&T California’s pre-recorded California LifeLine information hotline at 800-446-5651 (English) or 800-882-0521 (Spanish) or go online to


*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T's Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE(R) magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action is a San Francisco-based national education and advocacy organization founded in 1971. Its multilingual educational programs reach consumers through Consumer Action’s national network of more than 8,000 community based groups—with more than 3,500 located in California—and on the group’s website ( The non-profit organization also has offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.



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