NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is the first state in the nation to provide free wireless phone service to its low-income residents.
Prepaid cell phone provider TracFone Wireless Inc. announced Friday that it's launching its SafeLink Wireless program in Tennessee.
SafeLink provides eligible low-income households with a cell phone, access to emergency services and 68 minutes of free air time for up to a year.
The Federal Communications Commission recently authorized TracFone to provide SafeLink, the company's version of the federal program Lifeline. Other carriers are certified to use Lifeline, but they provide discounts on wireless service, rather than free service.
Jose Fuentes, director of government relations for SafeLink Wireless, said the program will aid more than 800,000 low-income households in Tennessee.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)