TWIN FALLS, Idaho – State and federal statistics show Idaho is among the top five states in the nation in the percentage of low-income households with telephone service.
State officials say that ranking is important because it means many poor families have the ability to make 911 calls in an emergency or make arrangement for access to public and government services.
Idaho regulators credit a state program, modeled after a similar federal program, for helping make phone service more affordable to low-income subscribers.
The federal Lifeline Assistance program, created in 1984, pays $10 of the cost of one phone line per month for qualifying households. Idaho lawmakers created the Idaho Telephone Service Assistance Program in 1986 that chips in another $3.50.
Recent Federal Communications Commission figures rank Idaho fourth nationally for subscribers with annual incomes less than $10,000, at 95.2 percent.
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