Assurance Wireless Marks One-Year Anniversary of Providing Cell Phones and Wireless Service to Pennsylvania Residents


Wireless, which provides eligible residents with a free cell phone

and 250 minutes of free monthly voice service, marks its one-year

anniversary of providing services to Pennsylvania residents. Assurance

Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal

Universal Service Fund.

“Many families in all parts of Pennsylvania are feeling the worst

effects of this economy,” said Mark Price, labor economist for the

Keystone Research Center. He mentioned cuts to education and affordable

health care for working Pennsylvanians, which are making life harder for

struggling families and undermining economic growth.[2]

More than 485,000 Pennsylvania residents are without a job, and more

than 20 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance

Wireless customers enjoy the ability to provide a contact number to and

receive calls from a prospective employer, which, studies show, can

improve the chances of securing employment.

“We look forward to continuing to provide this service to eligible

Pennsylvanians who need support and resources during what continues to

be a rough economic time for many,” said Grace Boehm, director of

strategy and business planning, Assurance Wireless.

“I was unemployed for an extended amount of time because of layoffs,”

stated Evan M., 37, an Assurance Wireless customer. “The phone and

service I received from Assurance Wireless were invaluable to my finding

new employment and to my efforts to recover from this recession. It

allowed me to contact potential employers, provide a way for them to

respond to me, and helped me save money. Assurance also gave me peace of

mind that I had a way to stay connected to my kids while away from home.”

According to a recent report, “If all 28.5 million adults eligible for

Lifeline Assistance were to take advantage of the program and earn at

the same rate and level as [the study] sample, it would result in $3.7

billion in fresh income for the poor and near poor.”1

According to a nationwide survey from Assurance Wireless*, adults with

an income of less than $25,000 are as likely to use their mobile phone

for employment searches as those with higher incomes.

Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the low

income program of the federal Universal Service Fund which is designed

to insure that quality telecommunications services are available to

low-income consumers at affordable rates. Customers eligible for

Assurance Wireless include those who participate in Medicaid, Food

Stamps/SNAP, General Assistance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families,

The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program (NSL). Customers

may also qualify based on low household income. Eligibility varies by

state. Supporting documentation is required to prove eligibility.

In addition to a voice mail account2 and call waiting,

Assurance Wireless provides caller ID and access to 911 in case of

emergency. Beyond the 250 free voice minutes each month, customers can

choose from other low cost options to pay for additional minutes,

texting, international calling and more at competitive rates.

Eligible residents can apply for Assurance Wireless by calling

(toll-free) 800-395-2171, or visiting

People who don’t qualify for Assurance Wireless but who are also

struggling and searching for value can take advantage of payLo by Virgin

Mobile. payLo was especially designed with value-conscious wireless

consumers in mind, offering plans for as little as $20/month for 400

minutes or access to 90 days of service for $20 at a rate of less than

$7 per month. payLo is available at more than 40,000 retail stores,

including Best Buy, RadioShack and Target. Prospective low-income

customers who find they are not eligible for Assurance Wireless may

learn more about Virgin Mobile’s no-contract payLo Plan options by


Assurance Wireless is available in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut,

Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,

Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New

Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,

Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia,

Washington and West Virginia. This list of states continues to expand

and can be found on the Assurance website.

About Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless, brought to you by Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s

prepaid brands, is supported by the Lifeline Assistance program, part of

the Low Income Program of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF),

which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company

(USAC). Assurance Wireless provides service on the Nationwide Sprint

Network, which reaches more than 280 million people.

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Sources for all information and statistics are available

upon request.

*PKS Research Partners was commissioned by Sprint/Nextel (Assurance

Wireless) to conduct a research project among a nationally

representative sample of U.S. adults 25 years or older in order to

determine their attitudes toward and usage of mobile phones.



2 Airtime charges apply when accessing voice mail via an

Assurance Wireless phone once free minutes have been depleted.