In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine life without the internet and smartphones. However, there are still many people who rely on landline phones for communication. For those who are on a tight budget or living in rural areas with limited access to cell towers, a landline phone with internet service may be the best option. And the good news is that there are options available for free landline phone service with internet. In this article, we’ll explore the options and discuss how to qualify for these programs.
Why Would I Need a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet?
There are several reasons why someone might need a free landline phone service with internet.
- One of the primary reasons is that having a landline phone provides a reliable means of communication, even during power outages or other emergencies that can disrupt cell phone service.
- Additionally, many people prefer the sound quality of landline phones over cell phones, especially for important business or personal calls.
- For those who don’t have a mobile phone or don’t want to rely on it exclusively, a landline phone can also be a more affordable option for making local and long-distance calls.
- Landline phone services come with a long list of additional benefits, such as no battery worries, the fact that landlines are less vulnerable to hacking, fraud, or other security issues, cost-effectiveness, etc.
- Combining landline phone service with internet can also provide additional benefits, such as the ability to make video calls and access other online communication tools.
- Having access to free internet services, on the other hand, enable users to stay in touch with loved ones, access information, work and study remotely, stay entertained, and more.
Overall, a free landline phone service with internet can be a valuable resource for staying connected with others and accessing important information.
How Can I Get a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet
By far the best way to get a free landline phone service with internet is through a government assistance program. Your best pick would be the Lifeline assistance program which offers a discount on monthly phone, wireless, and internet services of up to $9.25 a month or up to $34.25 a month for eligible Tribal households. Individuals who qualify for Lifeline support can receive discounted rates on either wireline or wireless services, but not both simultaneously. The Lifeline program also provides support for broadband internet services and bundles that include broadband voice. It is important to note that the FCC prohibits households from receiving more than one Lifeline service.
In order to enhance your internet service, you can also apply for the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that offers a discount of up to $30 or $75 for eligible Tribal households on monthly internet services.
Alternatively, you can get a free landline phone service with internet through some internet service providers that offer bundled packages that include both internet and phone service. These packages may also include a free landline phone that is connected to the internet via a special device called an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA).
Moreover, you may be able to get free landline phone service with internet through a non-profit organization, charity, or specialized app. Let’s explore these options in more detail in the following sections.
How to Get a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet Through the Government
To get a free landline phone service with internet, you must qualify for the assistance program, be able to prove your eligibility, apply for the program, and find a company that offers such benefits.
Step 1: Qualify for a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet Through the Government
To qualify for any government assistance program, you must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor, a resident of one of the states where your selected service provider operates, and the only applicant in your household (exceptions apply).
Furthermore, according to the FCC rules, a household is considered Lifeline-eligible if it meets one of the following conditions:
- The annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one of the following government assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (only households meeting the income criteria)
Additionally, according to the FCC rules, a household is considered ACP-eligible if it meets one of the following conditions:
- The annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- A household member participates in one of the following government assistance programs:
- Any of the Lifeline-qualifying programs mentioned above
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
- Or if a household received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
Step 2: Prove Your Free Landline Phone Service With Internet Through the Government Eligibility
You can prove your government assistance eligibility by providing copies of some valid official documents that contain all the vital information. You may have to prove your Lifeline or ACP income-based eligibility or program participation-based eligibility, depending on which eligibility condition you meet. You may also be asked to verify your identity, age, address, or other personal information.
To prove your income-based eligibility, you must provide a copy of a valid official document that includes your full name and income, such as:
- The previous year’s federal, state, or tribal tax return
- Paycheck stub or recent revenue statement from an employer
- Workers Unemployment’s compensation statement of benefits
- Child support award
- Divorce decree
To prove your program participation-based eligibility, you must provide a copy of a valid official document that includes your full name, the name of the program, the name of the issuing institution, and a future expiration date, such as:
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
- Benefit verification letter
- Statement of benefits
Additionally, during the application process, you may be asked to:
- Verify your identity (with a valid ID, passport, driver’s license)
- Verify your age (with a valid ID, passport, birth certificate)
- Verify your address (with a valid ID, driver’s license, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement)
- Prove your emancipation status (with a certificate or a court document)
- Provide your Social Security Number, proof of life, etc.
Make sure to create digital or physical copies of such documents (depending on how you wish to apply) and never submit originals.
Step 3: Apply for Lifeline/ACP to Get a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet Through the Government
You must apply for both Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through the National Verifier. You can do so online or via mail.
To apply for Lifeline and ACP online, visit nv.fcc.gov/lifeline?id=acp&awsl=link-from-how-to-apply. Login or create a new account if prompted. Fill out the application form by providing all the required information and digital proof documentation. Once you submit the online form, you may be approved immediately.
To apply for Lifeline or ACP via mail, you must first print out an application form. Lifeline forms are available at lifelinesupport.org/wp-content/uploads/documents/get-lifeline/LI_Application_NVstates.pdf and ACP forms are available at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf. When applying to ACP, it is also recommendable to add a Household Worksheet, which is available at affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf. Fill out all of the forms, add physical copies of your proof documentation, and send the package to Lifeline/ACP Support Center, P.O. Box 9100, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773. Approval via mail may take longer.
Step 4: Find a Company That Offers Free Landline Phone Service With Internet Through the Government in Your Area
Once your Lifeline and/or ACP application get approved, you can find a company that offers free landline phone service with internet in your area.
The simplest way to do so is to use the online government assistance program search tool. Simply visit cnm.universalservice.org, key in your location, select the program, and press Search. The program will generate a list of all the companies that offer such benefits in your area. Make sure to note which companies offer wireline instead of wireless service.
Some of the best companies that offer free landline phone service with internet through the government are:
- AT&T: AT&T offers both government discounts on landline phone services and the internet. You can choose from a variety of stand-alone nationwide plans or worldwide plans. See the landline plans at att.com/home-phone/lifeline.
- Century Link: This is another wireless company that offers both landline and internet services. You can see its home phone offer at centurylinkquote.com/home-phone.
- Frontier Communications: Lifeline customers can get all sorts of benefits at Frontier Communications. You can find out more and apply at frontier.com/resources/discountprograms/lifeline-program.
- TDS Telecom: This company offers voice, internet, and entertainment services, as well as government assistance discounts. You can see the company’s home phone services at frontier.com/resources/discountprograms/lifeline-program and apply for Lifeline at tdstelecom.com/lifeline.html.
- Verizon: Finally, Verizon also offers all sorts of services, including mobile, landline, internet, TV, etc. In addition, it offers Lifeline discounts for eligible households. Learn more and apply at verizon.com/support/residential/account/manage-account/lifeline-discount.
Other Ways to Get a Free Landline Phone Service With Internet
In case you are unable to qualify for a government assistance discount or if you can’t find a provider in your area that would offer the benefits you are looking for, you should try your luck with the following:
- Contact other telecommunications companies asking if they offer a promotional deal on free or discounted landline and internet services.
- Contact a non-profit organization or charity and ask if they offer any such service. The chances are slim and even if they do offer such benefits, you will be required to prove that you are unable to afford them yourself.
- Get a very cheap plan. Try your luck with Ooma, Community Phone, Armstrong, Cox, Verizon Fios, Xfinity, etc.
- Get a free internet service by connecting to another open Wi-Fi, such as a neighbor, a nearby restaurant, a nearby hotel, the city’s, etc. You can also join a program, such as FreedomPop or Connect2Compete.