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Virgin Mobile launches service for low-income households

As civilization evolves, things that were once a luxury become a near necessity. This holds true with telecommunications. The home telephone was once a luxury, but quickly became a necessity. It seems we’re headed that way with cell phones (due in part, of course, to the decline of landlines). Yet there are many people, especially with the unemployment rate the highest it’s been in years, who cannot afford a cell phone. Tracfone runs its SafeLink program, which provides qualifying low-income individuals a free phone and 80 minutes per month. Virgin Mobile will now offer a similar program, called Assurance Wireless.

Qualifying individuals can get a free Kyocera Jax handset, plus 200 minutes per month. This covers long distance, voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID. Users can then purchase additional minutes for 20 cents each, and text messages for 15 cents each. It is currently. available to residents of New York state\

“Most of us take cell phone service for granted. Mobile phones allow us to stay connected with friends, family and employers and provide critical support in case of emergency,” said Dan Schulman, president of Sprint’s Prepaid group which includes Virgin Mobile USA. “The government estimates that more than 1 million households in New York State are eligible for income-based assistance programs. We are proud to offer this valuable service, particularly in these tough times, which disproportionately affect lower income customers.”

New York residents can inquire about eligibility by calling 888-321-5880.