LOS ANGELES, CA, APRIL 9, 2020 —TruConnect, the only California-based provider of free broadband services to low-income participants, is providing a vital lifeline to nearly 225,000 residents most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis across the state. California LifeLine is a California Public Utilities Commission program that provides affordable mobile phone services to eligible households through certified providers such as TruConnect.
Even prior to state and local officials' expansion of public health safeguards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, TruConnect has sought to provide critical resources to its LifeLine wireless customers. TruConnect's free mobile phone is now loaded with food security apps to access CalFresh, free lunch programs and foodbanks, while offering links to health resources and e-learning solutions for non-profit charities.
Last week, TruConnect sent a text message to each of its customers with a link to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits directly through their phone.
TruConnect is currently working with anti-poverty advocates at the Western Center on Law and Poverty and Greenlining Institute to identify ways to use free wireless service to expand the health and financial safety net for low-income residents during the COVID-19 crisis, especially for those 75% of LifeLine-qualified individuals who have not yet applied.
There are approximately 4.5 million Californians eligible for LifeLine service that are not currently enrolled in the program. Those potential participants are concentrated in the areas of highest unemployment due to the coronavirus.
"We believe that it's absolutely critical to go above and beyond what's expected of a typical wireless service provider by providing as many resources as we can to those who are hurting so much during this crisis," said TruConnect Co-CEO Nathan Johnson. "We're taking every step that we can as a company to ensure that those individuals and families stay connected, and that they can access as many necessary services as possible through their phone, starting with financial support and food security."
Last month, TruConnect and community advocates successfully petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission to suspend California LifeLine renewal requirements for a period of 90 days, relieving low-income program participants of an excessive burden in maintaining their connection to broadband wireless service.
TruConnect continues to offer free mobile telephone and broadband service during the Shelter-In-Place order through its website, www.truconnect.com. Applicants who meet low-income eligibility requirements will receive a free phone through the mail and be able to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
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Founded in 2011, TruConnect has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing provider of Lifeline wireless telecommunications services, expanding into over 30 states in the past two years TruConnect strives to provide affordable & flexible technology solutions to low-income communities and budget-conscious consumers, helping to bring us closer to closing the digital divide. To learn more, visit us at www.truconnect.com .
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