TDS offers Federal Lifeline and Tribal Link-Up programs to income-eligible customers

Can’t afford phone or internet service?

All Americans should have an opportunity to enjoy phone and internet service, but some simply cannot afford these services. Local phone companies, including TDS Telecom (TDS®), offer Lifeline and Tribal Link-Up. They are government assistance programs designed to make phone and internet service affordable for income-eligible customers.

Lifeline provides monthly credits for basic phone and qualifying broadband services. Tribal Link-Up offers phone and qualifying broadband discounts for people living on tribal land. Qualifications for the programs may vary by state; however, they are typically available to most people who receive federal assistance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 43.1 million Americans living in poverty in 2015. While the overall median household income in the U.S. rose (it’s the first time since 2007), there are many families and individuals who still rely on the Lifeline and Tribal Link-Up programs to stay connected.

“Having access to telephone and broadband service should not be a struggle,” says Kevin Hess, executive vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs for TDS. “Americans should not have to choose between feeding their family and providing a phone number on a job application. We make Lifeline and Tribal Link-up available to our customers so they don’t have to choose. Plus, it allows them to stay in touch with family, employers, and, should they need it, emergency services.”

TDS receives support for these programs from the Universal Service Fund program. Lifeline is a non-transferable government assistance program. Only eligible consumers may enroll in the program and only one discount is available per household. All participants must renew their Lifeline benefits annually.

For more information, to check on eligibility or to request an application visit or call 888-CALL-TDS. If you know someone who’s struggling to afford their communications services, encourage them to contact their local phone company for information.

Media Contact: Cindy Tomlinson | Associate Manager – PR | TDS Telecom | 608-664-4471 |

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to a mix of small to mid-sized urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the U.S. With 1.2 million connections, TDS is a rapidly growing technology company. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 8 Gigabit internet speeds and offers internet-protocol based TV entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs 3,600 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 1000® company. Founded in 1969, Telephone and Data Systems provides wireless, broadband, video and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 6 million connections nationwide through its businesses: UScellular, TDS Telecom, and OneNeck IT Solutions. Visit

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