Tempo Communications’s Low-Income Plan: Features, Benefits & More

Tempo Communications offers a low-income wireless plan called the Lifeline plan that provides discounted cell phone service to qualifying low-income consumers. The Lifeline plan is part of the Lifeline program, which is run by the FCC to ensure affordable access to phone and internet services. Tempo’s Lifeline plan includes discounted monthly rates, free minutes and texts, and data allowance on nationwide coverage. The Lifeline program is available to eligible consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.

To qualify for Tempo’s Lifeline plan, customers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR participate in certain assistance programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps/SNAP, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit, or Tribal Programs. The Lifeline plan is limited to one benefit per household, consisting of either phone or internet services. Tempo’s Lifeline wireless plan aims to provide affordable and essential wireless service to qualifying low-income individuals.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for Tempo’s Low-Income Plan, customers must meet certain eligibility requirements related to income thresholds and government assistance programs. According to Tempo’s website, “Only eligible customers may enroll in the program. Service is limited to one discount per household, consisting of either home phone or wireless service.”

The main eligibility requirements are:

  • Income – Your household income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, the 2022 threshold for a family of 4 is $36,620.
  • Government Assistance – You can qualify if you or someone in your household participates in certain assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or Tribal Programs.
  • Location – You must reside on Federally-recognized Tribal lands to qualify for Tribal-specific plans.

There are also limitations around only qualifying for one Lifeline-supported service per household. As the FCC describes, “Rules prohibit eligible low-income consumers from receiving more than one Lifeline service per household.” Tempo confirms this one discount per household rule as well.

Discounted Monthly Rates

One of the main benefits of Tempo’s Low-Income Plan is the significantly discounted monthly rates compared to their regular wireless plans. According to the Tempo Wireless website, regular monthly rates start at $40 for 1GB of data (https://mytempo.com/cell-phone-plans/).

With the Low-Income Plan, monthly rates are discounted based on the participant’s income level and family size. For example, recipients earning up to 135% of the federal poverty guidelines pay only $5.25 per month, while those earning up to 150% pay $10.50 per month (https://mytempo.com/lifeline-wireless/).

These discounted rates represent significant savings over Tempo’s regular plans. Low-income customers can get wireless service starting at just $5.25 per month, compared to $40 per month for other customers. This makes wireless communication much more accessible for lower income families and individuals.

Data Allowance

Tempo’s Low-Income Plan provides customers with 4.5GB of high-speed data per month for use within the United States. This is a pretty generous allowance compared to some other affordable connectivity programs, with the federal Lifeline Program only requiring 500MB/month minimums. The Tempo plan does not seem to have any data overage charges, so customers won’t be penalized for going over the 4.5GB cap in a billing cycle. The data allowance simply resets each month. However, speeds may be throttled to 2G after hitting the 4.5GB high-speed data allotment. This is quite reasonable though, as many similar low-cost plans will cut off data entirely once the allotment is used up.

Calling Features

Tempo Communications offers unlimited talk and text on their low-income plan, enabling customers to make calls to anywhere in the United States without worrying about minutes (https://mytempo.com/lifeline-wireless/). This includes calls to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Customers also get unlimited text messaging to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The low-income plan includes unlimited international calling to landlines in over 70 countries and mobile numbers in over 35 countries. Popular destinations like China, India, Mexico and Canada have unlimited mobile calling. Customers can make affordable international calls to other countries starting at just $0.07 per minute (https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers).

Some key calling features of Tempo’s low-income wireless plan include caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling and voicemail. Customers also get free 411 calls for directory assistance.

Texting Features

Tempo’s Lifeline plan includes unlimited domestic SMS and MMS text messaging at no additional cost (https://mytempo.com/lifeline-wireless/). This means users on the Lifeline plan can send and receive as many texts as they want within the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. There are no overage charges or per-message fees. Multimedia messages with photos, videos, and group texts are also unlimited.

The free unlimited texting applies to standard texts sent via Tempo’s network. According to the Lifeline program rules set by the FCC, premium SMS messages like voting, donation requests, and premium content are not covered (https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers). But overall, Tempo’s Lifeline plan provides a valuable service to low-income users by including unlimited domestic SMS/MMS messaging at no extra cost.

Device Options

Tempo offers customers on the Lifeline plan a variety of device options to choose from (Source). The available phones include popular models like the iPhone SE, Samsung Galaxy A03s, and Motorola Moto G Power. Customers can also bring their own compatible device.

For customers who need a phone, Tempo offers affordable purchasing and financing options. Phones start at just $20 with financing options available over 6 or 12 months (Source). There are no credit checks required and down payments start at just $0 with proof of government assistance eligibility.

Additional Perks

Tempo’s Lifeline plan offers subscribers various freebies and discounts beyond just cell phone service. According to the Tempo Wireless website[1], Lifeline subscribers get the following perks:

  • Free Pandora Plus subscription – Get ad-free music streaming from Pandora.
  • Discounted Lyft rides – Get discounted Lyft rides in select markets of up to $15 off per ride.
  • Free 2GB of high-speed data – Receive 2GB of high-speed data for free every month.
  • Discounts on tablets – Get exclusive discounts on select tablets like the Amazon Fire HD.

These extra freebies and discounts are a nice bonus on top of the already heavily discounted cell phone service. Subscribers can enjoy ad-free music, discounted rideshares, extra data, and deals on devices. For low-income consumers, these perks provide additional savings and value from the Lifeline program.

[1] https://mytempo.com/lifeline-wireless/

How to Apply

To apply for Tempo’s Low-Income Plan, you need to complete an application and submit any required documents. Here are the steps to take:

1. Visit the Affordable Connectivity Program website or call 877-384-2575 to get an application.

2. Fill out the application with your personal information including name, date of birth, address etc. You’ll need to provide documentation proving your eligibility such as your most recent tax return, pay stubs or documentation of your participation in certain assistance programs.

3. Submit the completed application and documentation by mail, fax or online upload. Applications can also be submitted through participating broadband providers or by calling the Lifeline Support Center at 800-234-9473.

4. If approved, you’ll get an eligibility notice by mail or email. This notice will include the discounted rate you are eligible for.

5. Bring the eligibility notice to Tempo to enroll in their Low-Income Plan. Tempo will verify your eligibility before signing you up.

The application process typically takes 5-10 business days. Having all required documents ready can help speed up the process. Contact Tempo or the Affordable Connectivity Program support center if you have any questions about applying.

Alternatives to Consider

If you’re looking for a discounted cell phone plan but Tempo’s offer doesn’t seem like the right fit, here are a few other low-income plans worth considering:

Verizon’s Lifeline program offers discounted monthly rates and a free Android phone to qualifying low-income customers. To be eligible you’ll need to be on Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Veteran’s Pension or Survivor Benefit, or meet income requirements. Learn more at Verizon’s Lifeline page.

AT&T’s Access Program provides discounted wireless services and devices to SNAP and Medicaid participants. You can get unlimited talk and text plus 8GB of data for $30/month. Get details at AT&T Access.

T-Mobile’s Lifeline Program offers discounted plans to eligible customers including unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of data for $15/month. Check eligibility and enroll at T-Mobile’s Lifeline page.

Safelink Wireless provides a free Android phone and monthly plans with unlimited minutes and texts for income-eligible customers. They utilize the T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon networks. Apply through Safelinkwireless.com.

Compare all the options to find the discounted cell phone plan that best fits your needs and budget constraints. Just be sure to check the eligibility requirements for any programs that interest you.

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