Subsidized Telephone and Internet Connectivity

  • The health and safety of children, families, and staff is of the highest priority of the Department of Children and Families as COVID-19 deeply impacts the Commonwealth. In most cases, the Department is using telephone and video conferencing and whenever possible to keep families connected with each other and with the Department. Many families have expressed concern about limited phone and internet access during this difficult and uncertain time.

    Both federal and state guidance support increased free and low-cost telephone and internet services during this time. To share information about available services that may help families maintain telephone and internet services, the following is intended to be a resource.

    Lifeline Program - Subsidized Phone and Internet Service

    Lifeline is a federal program that provides no cost or low-cost phone service to low-income households. Lifeline subscribers have the choice of applying their benefit discount to either home phone or internet plan or a wireless phone plan with internet, which includes a free mobile phone. Only one Lifeline program discount is available per household, defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. You can check your eligibility and apply online.

    Eligibility: There are two ways to qualify for the Lifeline program: income-based eligibility (household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines) or program-based eligibility (Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Certain Federally-Recognized/State Tribal Assistance Programs, and Veteran's Pension or Survivor's Pension benefit).

    Enrolling in Lifeline: To enroll, apply online or by phone with a Lifeline service provider. In Massachusetts there are three mobile service providers: Assurance Wireless (partnership with Virgin Mobile), SafeLink Wireless (partnership with TracFone Wireless), and StandUp Wireless. Verizon is the home phone and broadband service provider for the state. Lifeline service providers’ monthly plan details are listed below. Free mobile phones are provided with the wireless plans.

    You can also call the Department of Telecommunications and Cable’s hotline, 800-392-6066, for assistance in applying or to get support with any challenges in the process (e.g., eligibility verification). 2

    Service Provider

    Apply by Phone

    Lifeline Monthly Plan

    COVID-19 Response

    Assurance Wireless (partnership with Virgin Mobile)



    • 350 voice minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • 3GB data


    Through May 15, 2020, all Assurance Wireless Lifeline customers will receive:

    • Free unlimited voice minutes
    • Free unlimited texts
    • Additional 6GB (9GB total) for two months


    SafeLink Wireless (partnership with TracFone Wireless)



    • 350 voice minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • 3GB data



    • Additional 5GB of data added for both the current cycle and April cycle (8GB total)


    StandUp Wireless



    • 300 voice minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • 3GB data


    Through May 20, 2020, all new and current StandUp Wireless Lifeline customers will receive:

    • Free unlimited voice minutes
    • Free unlimited texts
    • Additional 5GB (8GB total)



    (landline or broadband internet service only)


    Home phone:

    -Unlimited minutes, including long distance

    *need to have landline phone

    Home internet:

    -Fios internet service at a speed of 18 megabits per second or above

    -250GB monthly data


    • Waiving coverage charges and late fees
    • Two months waived internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers