The ACP program is currently paused pending funding by Congress.

The Truth About the Obama Phone: Everything You Need to Know

The Truth About the Obama Phone - EASY Wireless

What is an Obama phone?

Is it a real thing?

How did the term “Obama Phone” get coined?

What program is associated with the Obama phone?

Can I still get an Obama phone?

What other benefits come with an Obama Phone?

In this complete guide, we will answer all of these questions and more. We’ll start by explaining what an Obama phone actually is, and then move on to discuss how the term got started and whether or not the program is still in effect. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of everything related to the Obama phone!

What is an Obama Phone?

Obama Phones or often called “free government cell phones” are the names given to free smartphones provided by phone companies to customers that qualify for the Lifeline program.

The Obama phone got its name from the previous president Barack Obama, who expanded the Lifeline program to include wireless providers in an effort to provide more Americans with access to communication.

The myth was and still is that the government was giving away free cell phones to anyone that qualified for Lifeline service. However, the truth is the wireless providers are supplying the “free government phones”. They are not given out by the US government.

Even after 10 years the term “Obama Phone” is still used regularly to describe a free cell phone.

The good news is that phone companies are still providing government phones to eligible consumers when they apply for the Lifeline and the new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

Lifeline Program - Easy Wireless

What is the Lifeline Program?

The Lifeline Program began in 1985 and is a government assistance program that provides discounts on phone service for eligible low-income consumers.

The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Cell Service providers must apply and be approved to offer Lifeline service, not all wireless providers offer this service.

Consumers qualify by participating in certain government benefit programs or having an income less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

It is difficult for families in need to bridge the digital divide with limited service and to help them the Federal Government created the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

A Very Brief History of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit was an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. It had the same qualifying requirements as the Lifeline Program.

It allowed cell phone providers a greater ability to provide more services to customers such as a Free “Obama Phone” and Unlimited Talk Text and Data.

The Affordable Connectivity Program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit on December 31, 2021

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program- - EASy Wireless

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal program that provides eligible households with a discount on broadband service and connected devices.

It also broadens the number of qualifying government assistance programs and increased the income level percent to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

It is estimated that over 40% of US households are eligible for ACP.

Let’s learn how to qualify…

How to Qualify for Lifeline

Qualifying Lifeline Programs include:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), i.e. Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Headstart

Qualify with Income

You can also qualify for Lifeline if your household income is less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

2024 Combo LL ACP Federal Poverty Guidelines Wide

When applying through income you’ll be asked to upload proof of income (3 consecutive months of paystubs or the previous year’s tax return).

When you qualify for Lifeline you automatically qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. You get extra benefits without having to do a bunch of extra work.

How Do I Qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program - EASY Wireless

How Do I Qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

You can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program through the Lifeline programs listed above as well as these additional programs:

  • National School Lunch Program/ CEP
  • WIC
  • Current Pell Grant Award Recipient

Please note the three programs listed above cannot be used to qualify for the Lifeline Program.

Qualify through Income

You can also qualify for ACP Benefits through your income level.

See the chart below.

2024 Combo LL ACP Federal Poverty Guidelines Wide

How to Apply for Lifeline and ACP?

There are two ways to apply.

The National Verifier Way

To sign up for Lifeline you need to start with the FCC site for Lifeline and go through the entire application process and then work through the National Verifier. The National Verifier determines if you are eligible. You’ll need to upload the required documents depending on how you choose to qualify. If you encounter any problem you’ll need to call their helpline and work through it.

Once you are approved by the National Verifier they will issue you a qualification letter. You need to take this letter and search for companies that offer Lifeline/ ACP services in your area.

After you find one, you’ll need to fill out their application, submit your National Verifier approval letter and wait for a response if you are accepted.

There is a much faster and easier way to qualify.

The EASY Way to Qualify for Lifeline and ACP

The EASY Way to Qualify for Lifeline and ACP

The fastest way to sign up for Lifeline and/or ACP is through a Lifeline or ACP service provider like EASY Wireless.

If you are near one of their retail stores you can apply in person and leave the same day with your new free smartphone and cell service.

The second way is to apply through the online portal which only takes a few minutes to sign up and qualify.

If you have any problems you can contact EASY Wireless customer service and the agents will help you through the application process.

What are the Benefits of Combining My Lifeline and ACP Benefits with EASY Wireless?

When you combine your Lifeline and ACP benefits you will receive:

EASY Wireless Free Unlimited Plan

  • FREE Smartphone*
  • FREE Unlimited Talk
  • FREE Unlimited Text
  • Keep the Phone You Love
  • Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
  • FREE SIM Card & Activation

*Please note offers vary by location.

Does EASY Wireless Offer the Lifeline Program and ACP in My State_

Does EASY Wireless Offer the Lifeline Program and ACP in My State?

EASY Wireless offers service through the Affordable Connectivity Program in 47 states.

We provide free phones when eligible consumers combine Lifeline and ACP benefits in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and ACP Tribal Lands.

All EASY Wireless qualified customers are eligible for FREE Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data.

Extra Rewards Just for EASY Wireless Customers

To show our appreciation, we have just launched a brand new Rewards Program at EASY Wireless.

Within only 30 days of being an EASY Wireless customer, you will start to receive rewards. And the benefits don’t stop there—as long as you maintain your service with us, the rewards will keep coming!

Use your rewards to get free UPGRADED phones or additional lines of service from EASY Wireless. The choice is yours.

Just call in or visit one of our retail stores to use your rewards any time.

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Sounds Great, How Do I Sign Up for FREE Phone Service?

Signing up for FREE phone service is EASY.


Check our store locator to find a location nearest you. Sign up, qualify, and leave the same day with a Free Phone and Free Service with Unlimited Data.

EASY Wireless Store Locator {link to store locator}

We Come to You

Prefer to have us come to you? No problem.

Sign up online in just a few minutes and we’ll drop ship at no cost to you right to your door.

Just fill out your email and zip code below, and click “Enroll Now” to get say goodbye to your phone bill!

Start Saving Today!

Join the Tens of Thousands that have already signed up for FREE Lifeline and ACP Benefits.

Free Government-Smartphone EASY Wireless