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safelink wireless


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#1 StankDawg

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:11 PM

Has anyone ever heard of or used SafeLink before?

It sounds like a government program or something, but I don't know. It varies by state, but here in Florida they have it with free minutes and texting and a free phone if you qualify. Qualification seems to be based on income.

Where is the money for this coming from? Are cell phones so important now that we need a program to give them out free? I think we shoudl feed and clothe our homeless and veterans before we start handing out cell phones... aside from the political rant, from a hacker standpoint, It is interesting to find out more about it. Who provides the service? Phone types? Are they prepaid? any different than normal service plans? calls routed the same? etc..

discuss...

#2 shadowdao

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:59 PM

Has anyone ever heard of or used SafeLink before?

It sounds like a government program or something, but I don't know. It varies by state, but here in Florida they have it with free minutes and texting and a free phone if you qualify. Qualification seems to be based on income.

Where is the money for this coming from? Are cell phones so important now that we need a program to give them out free? I think we shoudl feed and clothe our homeless and veterans before we start handing out cell phones... aside from the political rant, from a hacker standpoint, It is interesting to find out more about it. Who provides the service? Phone types? Are they prepaid? any different than normal service plans? calls routed the same? etc..

discuss...


It looks like the evolution of the "Lifeline" service that many telephone companies have. According to the website the telecoms are paying for the service, but I am guessing they get a tax break for doing it. As far as who is providing the service, it looks like Safelink's phones and service are provided through tracphone. Not all areas participate, as my zip code came back with nothing. They have a big fact sheet here :
https://www.safelink...m_info/benefits

#3 nyphonejacks

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

safelink and assurance wireless are lifeline services provided by the cell phone companies tracfone and virgin mobile... they are subsidized by the fees added to peoples telephone bills - the same as lifeline service is subsidized on landline service

shameless self promotion: i did a blog post about these services about a year ago http://nyphonejacks....low-income.html

last i checked assurance wireless offered more free minutes than safelink..

you can add tracfone minutes to a safelink phone, and you can add virgin mobile minutes to an assurance wireless phone..

you can only have one line of lifeline service, so if you have a land line with lifeline, then you can not get either one of these..

there are certain requirements - if you get any type of public assistance you should qualify.. you could also qualify if you are under certain income thresholds

#4 systems_glitch

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:18 PM

Up here (upstate NY) the service is provided by Virgin, and probably 60-75% of the people on our block have one. The various public services will give out trifold brochures on how to get them and what you need to qualify. Knowing quite a few people that use the service, I've been told there's no actual inquiry into your income -- one of our neighbors, a well-intentioned but misguided sort of mother of the neighborhood -- tried to get me signed up for one as she wholly believes it's "unsafe" to live without a cell phone (I can afford one, I just don't want one).

As far as my feeling on it, yeah, I agree with Stank. All of my left-leaning friends insist it's essential to have a cell phone to be able to hook a job anymore, and that /texting/ is essential too, since (they claim) a lot of job agencies and businesses use texting internally. The folks I know with these phones aren't using them to get (legitimate) jobs, and actually most of them have landline service (and cable/satellite TV, and a game system, and money for cigarettes...). I can understand having a landline as a requirement for getting a job, but cell phones seem a little excessive.

#5 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:14 PM

All of my left-leaning friends insist it's essential to have a cell phone to be able to hook a job anymore, and that /texting/ is essential too, since (they claim) a lot of job agencies and businesses use texting internally.




As someone who's involved in a job with lots of job-related texting in a typical day, I can tell this is largely not true. Anything truly important - like when a piece of critical equipment starts producing dead air, will result in a call straight to the control room, or someone in charge. In both cases, it's a call to a PBX extension.


As for the cell phone lifeline-ish arrangement, I know Cricket gets subsidies to do something like this. I'd be surprised if a good number of people didn't enroll. Malls and the typical areas aside, they like to pitch pretty aggressively to poorer, inner city neighborhoods. I've even seen them set up shop in what looked like an indoor flea market in one of these neighborhoods. I'd have to agree with Stank myself, though. A lot of states are in a rut right now, I really wouldn't think this is the best way to spend what money they've got.


The service itself is almost exactly like normal lifeline service from what I've read - local calls only, but with a bigger local calling area. I think the whole LATA.




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