Free cell service available in Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A new cellphone service is here for low-income Californians, and it's free.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved the first-ever discounted wireless telephone service plan.

LifeLine wireless is available at the Department of Public Social Services building at 100 E. California Avenue.

For people like Rosalind Brisby, the program is getting good reception.

Brisby went to the DPSS building for an appointment.

She left signed up for an unexpected free cell phone.

"I have kids, then I go to school, you know I need a phone," Brisby said. "I can't afford a cell phone any other kind of way."

To qualify, you must be a family of four that makes less than $37,000, or a family of two or one person that makes less than $25,000.

David Patrick is the Sales Director for Telscape Communications. He said it's all about helping people get cell service, who might not normally be able to.

"It's really open up to the masses," said Patrick, "we're excited about the program."

But not everyone we spoke with shares his excitement.

"It's just another freebie the government can hand out," said Dave Rhodes, "it's costing us taxpayers more money."

If you qualify, there are three plans available.

The "FREE Plan" includes 1,000 voice minutes and 200 text messages.

For a monthly fee of $18.10, you can receive unlimited voice minutes and text messages.

For a monthly fee of $33.10, you can receive unlimited voice minutes, text messages and unlimited data.

The CPUC's plan is to make 21st century communications a possibility for low-income Californians.

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