As you can probably guess from this company’s name, they offer the free government cell phone service only in Alaska. Not everything about TelAlaska’s Lifeline Assistance program is that clear.
For example, it wasn’t easy to figure out exactly what TelAlaska’s Lifeline Assistance plan is. We searched the website and couldn’t find any information. (We’re not saying it’s not there; we’re just saying we couldn’t find it.” We also Googled the company’s name plus “Lifeline” and still couldn’t find the information. So as a last resort we ended up sending an email to the company’s customer service address.
We’re happy to report that they got back to us very quickly with this answer:
“Thank you for your emailed inquiry … Lifeline is also available with cellular service, the plan comes with 400 minutes of long distance calls per month including calls to Canada, roaming is restricted, unlimited local calls in the TelAlaska network and unlimited text messaging, you can get a free basic phone or any model we have available w/a two year contract, lifeline can have smartphones but these require a $5.00 per month data package. Please email me with more questions.”
TelAlaska Cellular’s Lifeline plan is very generous and offers you all of this:
- Unlimited local calls and calls placed to and from communities within the TelAlaska Cellular Network
- A free cellphone
- 400 Long Distance minutes per month, in-state and out-of-state calling
- Free nationwide unlimited text messaging plan
- Voicemail and other calling features
Here’s what the plan doesn’t include according to its website: “Plan does not include ‘roaming’ (long distance calls placed when you travel outside the TelAlaska Cellular Network). Roaming is 25¢ per minute. Long distance calls that exceed 400 minutes per month are 25¢ per minute. Monthly long distance allottments (sic) are calculated from the 24th of the month through the 23rd of the following month.”
TelAlaska is a statewide telecommunications company that was whose established more than 40 years ago.
In case it makes you feel a little more secure as a TelAlaska customer, the company has some big guns behind it. The company was acquired by American Broadband, a large free government cell phone provider, in 2008. American Broadband specializes in buying and operating local telephone companies in rural markets across the country. The company’s strategy is distinguished by a long-term focus on growth in rural America. American Broadband now claims more than 26,000 telephone customers, 10,000 cable customers, and 8,500 high speed data customers in Nebraska, Missouri, and Alaska.
Contact TelAlaska/American Broadband
201 East 56th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99518
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