June 18, 2012
Assurance Wireless Provides Cell Phones and Wireless Service to Aid Colorado Residents Facing Economic Hardship
As it becomes available in its 33rd state, Assurance Wireless can help more than 225,000 eligible Colorado residents stay connected
WARREN, N.J. (BUSINESS WIRE), June 18, 2012 - Today, Assurance Wireless, which provides a wireless phone and 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages monthly to eligible residents, introduces its services in Colorado. Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund.
More than 222,000 Colorado residents are without a job, and more than 20 percent are living below the federal poverty line. Assurance Wireless gives eligible customers the ability to provide a contact number and return calls to a prospective employer, which, studies show, can improve the chances of securing employment.
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. Data collected by Austin Nichols, a senior researcher with the Chronicle for Higher Educations Urban Institute showed that the rate of graduates with doctoral degrees who have filed for government assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010. 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
“As Assurance Wireless has been approved to offer service in more states, we are proud to help more and more customers stay connected to potential employers, medical and childcare providers,” said Grace Boehm, director of strategy and business planning, Assurance Wireless. “We look forward to providing this same type of assistance to eligible Colorado residents who need support and resources during what continue to be rough economic times for many.”
“I was unemployed for an extended amount of time due to 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 and provide a way for them to respond to me, while also saving money. Assurance also gave me peace of mind that I had a way to stay connected to my kids while away from home.”
Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program funded through the federal Universal Service Fund designed to ensure that quality telecommunications services are available to low-income consumers at affordable rates. Customers eligible for Assurance Wireless include those who participate in Old Age Pension (OAP), Aid to the Blind (AB), Aid to the Needy/Disabled (AND), Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Colorado Works/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Eligibility varies by state.
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 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 www.assurancewireless.com.
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 visiting http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/payloplans.jsp#.
Assurance Wireless is available in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, 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, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 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 federal 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 uses the Nationwide Sprint Network, which reaches more than 280 million people.
Note: 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.
Jack Pflanz, 315-374-0693