Terracom Wireless is a perfect option when looking for a free phone service from the government. You’ll even have a shot at getting a free touch screen phone. In this guide, I’ll take you through everything you should know on how to get Terracom Wireless free phone, plus the kind of phone to expect.
Terracom Wireless is also one of the companies you can get free tablets for low-income families. The carrier even gives you a Samsung Tab on the offer, but that will be a topic of another day.
Terracom Wireless As a Phone company
Terracom Wireless is an eligible telecommunication carrier (ETC)- a phone carrier that has the license to offer Lifeline program. It has been in operation for quite a long time (about 14 years from the details I’ve gathered).
In addition to being an ETC, Terracom Wireless is a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO). Thus, resells the network of a major carrier.
The Major Carrier network that Terracom Wireless used to use was Sprint (CDMA). However, T-Mobile and Sprint merged into one back in 2020. Then in 2022, T-Mobile retired the Sprint frequencies, which saw Terracom Wireless switching to the GSM network.
The good thing with T-Mobile as the carrier network is that your coverage with Terracom Wireless will be just like with AirTalk Wireless Free Phone. AirTalk is another ETC that uses T-Mobile towers.
Terracom Wireless as a Lifeline Provider
As I’ve just mentioned, Terracom Wireless is an ETC/ phone carrier with the license to offer Lifeline program. It has the SAC (study area code) number to offer the program in 21 states. The states include Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma (non-tribal), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington (not-tribal), West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
However, not all of these states have a fully free phone service package. Some have only the Non-Tribal plans, while others only qualify for tribal service bundles.
Difference between Tribal & Non-Tribal Service Plans
Once a phone provider starts to participate in the Lifeline program, the USAC usually pays the service for each enrolled subscriber. The difference between Tribal and Non-Tribal plans is that the former gets a better deal.
If on the Tribal lands, the USAC supports subscribers with a phone service worth $34.25. Then the consumers on Non-tribal lands get to receive a $9.25 discount.
As we shall see shortly, the difference in the amount of funding between the two Lifeline categories means the Terracom plans will have different allowances. The Tribal plans have the best of these monthly service allowances.
Before we can break down these service plans, let’s look at the steps on how to apply Terracom Wireless.
The Requirements on How to Get Terracom Wireless Free Phone
Overall, there are three different methods how to get Terracom Wireless free phone. They include applying online, calling customer care, or visiting authorized physical stores.
Regardless of the method chosen, you should know the Terracom Wireless free phone and service is only available to low-income individuals. You’ll only qualify with a low income or participates in a qualifying government assistance benefit.
Get Terracom Wireless Free Phone with Low Income
If you decide to apply Terracom Wireless free phone with low income, the rule is that your household’s gross amount should be at or below 135% of the latest federal poverty guidelines. The “gross amount” means the total income for all the adults in your household. Hence, the reason the registration form asks you to fill in the “number of adults” in your family.
As with any other ETC, Terracom Wireless will want to confirm your income amount is as stated. And for that, you must provide an official document that serves as proof, such as:
- A tax return from the state, federal, or tribal department
- A paycheck stub/ income statement from current employment
- A Statement of social security benefits, Veterans benefits, retirement/ pension, unemployment/ worker’s compensation, divorce decree, child support award, et cetera.
Get Terracom Wireless Free Phone with an Assistance Benefit
The second way how to qualify for Terracom Wireless free phone will be to participate in a qualified government assistance program. “Qualified” is the keyword here as not all government-funded assistance programs are eligible for the free phone.
The various government assistance programs eligible for the Terracom Wireless free phone include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)- or Food Stamps in some states
- Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), and a few other Tribal Programs
When you apply Terracom Wireless free phone with a government assistance program, document proof is also a must. The official documents you can provide include a statement or letter of eligibility/ participation in the program selected.
Besides the proof of eligibility (on a low income or assistance program), you must provide proof of identity and address as well.
Proof of identity is usually to show you’re exactly who you claim to be. Some of the documents you can provide include a valid ID card, birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and Green card.
Proof of physical address is usually to show your current residence. Some documents you can submit include a utility bill, lease or mortgage statement, valid driver’s license, and tax return.
How to Apply for Terracom Wireless Free Phone
As already mentioned, there are three methods how to apply Terracom Wireless free phone, which include:
Method 1: To apply for Terracom Wireless free phone online is the easiest approach of all. You only need to visit www.terracomwireless.com. Next, click/ tap the “START APPLICATION” tab and enter the zip code of your area. Then follow the onscreen instructions to fill up the online enrolment form until the end.
Even though the online enrolment for Terracom Wireless is the easiest, there has been some inconvenience. When you enter your zip code to begin the process, you’ll get an alert that “TerraCom is unable to accept Lifeline and ACP applications through website at this time…”
Method 2: To apply Terracom Wireless free phone by “calling the customer service center”, you’ll just need to dial 888-716-8880. Then provide your personal information and everything else the representative need.
As for the copies of documents for proof of identity, address, and eligibility, you’ll have to submit them via mail service. It’s a bit of a hassle if you ask me, perhaps even delayed when there’s a problem between the post office and Terracom.
Method 3: To apply Terracom Wireless free phone in person is pretty easy if you can find a nearby dealer. It’s also effortless to find a Terracom dealer, as you just need to enter your details on the Store Locator and search. (I tried with my Zip code and got four physical stores in my area).
Furthermore, you can apply for Terracom Wireless service in person from one of those traveling agents. The agents tend to camp around local areas, such as outside community centers, campuses, malls, et cetera. Just don’t forget to bring your documents to the representatives.
Tip: The documents you bring as proof of identity, address, and eligibility should be copies, not the original. If you submit the original documents as proof, do know the carrier won’t be sending them back.
Terracom Wireless Free Phone Lifeline plan
When applying for the free phone program, Terracom Wireless will ask you to choose your preferred service plan. The various Terracom Wireless phone plans available include:
Terracom Wireless Non-Tribal Phone Plans
Cat1: For most eligible states
- Voice Base Plan 1000 MOU, which includes 1000 talk minutes and 1000 text messages
- Broadband Base Plan 500 MOU, which includes 500 talk minutes, 1000 text messages, and 4.5GB of high-speed data
Cat2: For Kansas State residents
- KS Voice Base Plan 1840 MOU, which includes 1380 talk minutes and 1000 text messages
- KS Broadband Base Plan 920 MOU, which includes 920 talk minutes, 1000 text messages, and 4.5GB of high-speed data
Cat3: For Nebraska State residents
- NE Voice Base Plan 1350 MOU, which includes 1350 talk minutes and 1000 text messages
- NE Broadband Base Plan 690 MOU, which includes 690 talk minutes, 1000 text messages, and 4.5GB of high-speed data
Tip: The Non-Tribal phone service plans for Kansas and Nebraska are different than other states as the USAC supports them differently than others. Terracom claims Kansas gets a discount of $17.02, whereas Nebraska is $16.25.
Terracom Wireless Tribal Phone Plans
For Oklahoma & Washington
- Tribal Voice Base Plan 2000 MOU, which includes 2000 talk minutes and 1000 text messages
- Tribal Broadband Base Plan 2000 MOU, which includes 2000 talk minutes, 1000 text messages, and 4.5GB of high-speed data
Key Takeaway: What Kind of Phone Does Terracom Wireless Give You?
When you choose the phone service plan, Terracom Wireless will also have the option of a free device. The device can be a phone, tablet, or mobile hotspot, depending on the plan selected. But, the company website has no specifics of the devices they offer.
After a bit of research, though, I’ve learned the kind of phone Terracom Wireless give you last year was the BLU J5L. They may be offering the same phone until now. However, I’m not so sure since the company also failed to reply to my inquiry.
You Can Also Apply for the FREE Broadband Plan!
Although there’s still much to talk about, I’ll cover until here for now. I’m still convinced the guide has covered the main topic, which was how to get Terracom Wireless free phone.
In a nutshell, online enrollment is the most convenient way how to join the free government phone program. You get to apply all on your own without having to involve customer care.
Sadly, however, Terracom has locked online enrollments at the moment. You’ll have to use the other alternatives to apply- call customer care or apply in person at local stores or travel agents.
As I conclude, you should also know Terracom Wireless is offering broadband benefits in the ongoing affordable connectivity program. The problem is that they haven’t listed on their website the ACP plan perks. Thus, you’ll have to contact the customer support team to learn about them (perks of Terracom ACP plan).