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Long IslandNassau

Paterson pushing low-cost telephone service for poor

New Yorkers already have a national reputation for being talkative. Now, Gov. David A. Paterson is pushing for everyone to have a telephone.

His administration is holding four events Monday touting the Lifeline and Link-Up programs for the poor.

Lifeline discounts the basic landline service and waives the federal subscriber-line charge - a phone company, not government, fee - usually at least $75 annually. Participants include local phone companies and some wireless and cellular services.

Link-Up also cuts the initial connection fee by up to $30. Information is available at

"In these difficult economic times, it is important for consumers to be aware and take advantage of the . . . discount programs that make basic telephone service affordable," Paterson said Saturday. He previously has publicized health insurance for low-income families and free help on income-tax returns. James T. Madore in Albany

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