NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) is urging residents to sign up for two federal programs that could help save money on phone and internet services.
NMPRC is promoting the Lifeline Program, which offers discounts to help residents access voice or broadband services, and the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers discounts to help residents access broadband services.
“I urge qualified New Mexicans to take advantage of the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity programs to help bear the costs of vital communication services that keep us connected,” said Commission Chair Pat O’Connell.
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Under the federal Lifeline program, low-income residents who participate in certain public assistance programs, or qualify based on income, can receive a discount of up to $9.25 per month off their monthly bill for broadband or bundled phone and broadband service, up to $5.25 for voice-only service, and up to a total of $34.25 per month for residents of qualifying Tribal lands. More information on program eligibility and rules can be found at http://www.lifelinesupport.org.
In 2021, the Federal Communications Commission implemented the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households up to a $30 per month discount for broadband services, up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Current Lifeline participants are automatically eligible, but they still need to select a provider and eligible ACP plan to receive the benefit. To get more information, go to www.getinternet.gov.
NMPRC also oversees the administration of a $30 million per year State Rural Universal Service Fund (SRUSF) that provides millions annually to expand and maintain broadband and voice services in rural areas of the state. The SRUSF also provides a discount of $3.50 per month on qualifying customer bills in addition to the federal Lifeline Program through the state Low Income Telephone Assistance Program (LITAP).
NMPRC decided to highlight these programs as part of Digital Connectivity and Lifeline Awareness Week which takes place from Sept. 11-17.