AT&T dropping out of Kansas phone program for the poor

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – AT&T says it will withdraw from a Kansas program that subsidizes landline telephone service for low-income residents.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports most AT&T customers who participate in the Kansas Lifeline Service Program will no longer receive the subsidies after May 31. However, the company will offer the discounts in some, mostly rural areas that the Federal Communications Commission has designated as high-cost areas with little broadband service.

The Kansas Lifeline Service Program offers up to $17 a month for local phone service to people who receive public assistance or meet income-eligibility guidelines.

AT&T officials said customers served by the program have mostly moved to other carriers, particularly wireless services, for phone and internet access. The company says it now has just 6 percent of Lifeline subscribers in Kansas.