Lifeline is a government assistance program that offers qualified, low-income customers in limited geographic areas a discount on their monthly phone bill. Lifeline assistance is only available for one phone line or cell phone per household. Data services, Text Messaging and other enhanced services or features, international long distance and access to "900" numbers are not available to TEC Lifeline customers. Other restrictions may apply.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority designated TEC the “Eligible Telecommunications Carrier” for its service area for universal service purposes. The goal of universal service is to provide all citizens access to essential telecommunications services. As part of its service offerings, TEC offers a program (Lifeline) to assist qualifying low-income individuals with the charges for their telephone service. Lifeline is part of the Federal Universal Service Fund program instituted by the Federal Communications Commission and overseen by the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Lifeline Assistance enables eligible subscribers to pay reduced charges for all residential service plans that provide voice telephony service, including bundled service packages combining voice and broadband Internet, certain broadband Internet services, or packages containing optional calling features. TEC Residential flat-rate voice service includes unlimited incoming and outgoing local calling per the subscriber tariff filed with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and found on the web at Toll limitation is free for qualifying Lifeline voice customers. Broadband service includes voice and Internet bundles or Internet standalone service. The current FCC mandated discount provided under the Company’s Lifeline service is $9.25 per month for each month that the customer qualifies. To receive these discounts, an individual must meet certain eligibility criteria such as participating in one of the following federal assistance programs: Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA); or Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefit. Alternatively, an individual would be eligible if the household gross monthly income does not exceed 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 47 C.F.R. §54.409(b) Only eligible customers may enroll in Lifeline. Federal regulations allow only one Lifeline discount per household. An individual may not transfer his or her Lifeline discount to someone else, even if he or she is eligible.

Other terms and conditions apply. For example, customers must apply for Lifeline and provide the required qualification documentation and the Program Administrator (Universal Service Administrative Company – USAC) is required to verify the continuing accuracy of the qualifying information provided by those individuals annually. In addition, as long as a qualified individual agrees to toll limitation on voice services, that individual is not required to pay a deposit prior to the service being offered. Broadband Internet has minimum service requirements where available. A complete set of terms and conditions for this program is available at TEC’s local business office at 641 Main Street, Friendship, TN.

We encourage you to contact us if you believe you may qualify for this program. Please contact us at 731-677-8181 or visit us at 641 Main Street, Friendship, TN. Our Customer Relations Representatives can work with you to answer any questions you may have.

Lifeline Resources

Lifeline Program ApplicationPDFe.g. 135 KB
Lifeline Program Annual RecertificationPDFe.g. 132 KB
Lifeline Program Household WorksheetPDFe.g. 122 KB