Phone Assistance Programs
Every person in America should have access to quality, affordable telecommunications services. This principle of “Universal Service” has been the goal of the telecommunications industry for decades. In 1934, the federal government codified the goal and reaffirmed it in 1996 by establishing policies for the “preservation and advancement of Universal Service.”
To achieve the Universal Service goal, carriers have access to a fund that is generated by contributions from the telecommunications providers in the United States. Telecommunications companies draw from the fund to provide programs that support telecommunications services nationwide.
Minnesota’s Telephone Assistance Plan (TAP) offers a monthly credit on your landline telephone service for customers in Minnesota. This program is administered and supervised by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission of the Department of Commerce.
Lifeline: An individual is eligible if he or she participates in one of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension, and Survivors Benefit Programs and tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or Head Start, Veterans Pension, and Survivors Benefit Programs.
In addition, a consumer may be eligible if his or her household income is at or below 135% of the federal government poverty guideline.
TAP: (Minnesota customers) Telephone service must be in your name. You must show proof that you, or a member of your household, meet the income guidelines or participate in one or more of the qualifying programs. To qualify based on your household income, you must attach one of the income-qualifying documents to your application. To qualify based on one of the programs, you must attach copies of proof of program participation.
Lifeline assistance lowers the cost of basic monthly telephone and/or broadband service. Eligible consumers can receive up to $9.25 per month in discounts.
TAP: (Minnesota customers) Landline providers offer a $10.00 discount for the Minnesota’s Telephone Assistance Program (TAP).
Lifeline: To apply for Lifeline visit the following:
Lifeline is a federal program. Lifeline is non-transferable. Only one discount is available per household.
TAP: (Minnesota customers) To apply for TAP call Polar Communications at 701.284.7221 or stop by our office. You will be asked to provide proof of eligibility before your benefits take effect. Visit https://mn.gov/puc/telecommunications/telephone-discounts/ for more information and an application.
Polar Communications works with its customers who are hearing, vision, or speech impaired, have mobility or cognitive impairments, or other disabilities to ensure that their individual telecommunications needs are met. First, we will identify what special needs an individual customer has so we can help design a telecommunications solution for that person.
Telecommunications Relay Service
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS uses operators, called communications assistants (CAs), to facilitate telephone calls between people with hearing and speech disabilities and other individuals. A TRS call may be initiated by either a person with a hearing or speech disability, or a person without such disability. When a person with a hearing or speech disability initiates a TRS call, the person uses a teletypewriter (TTY) or other text input device to call the TRS relay center, and gives a CA the number of the party that he or she wants to call. The CA in turn places an outbound traditional voice call to that person. The CA then serves as a link for the call, relaying the text of the calling party in voice to the called party, and converting to text what the called party voices back to the calling party. The service is free by simply dialing 7-1-1. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Federal and state laws require all call information and conversations to remain confidential.
Company Contact Information
110 4th Street East / Park River, ND 58270
Angie Schroeder, Customer Service Supervisor
(701) 284-7221/ 1-800-284-7222
ND Assistive consultants are available to assess needs and recommend assistive technology solutions for children in schools, transition-aged youths, people who want to work or continue working, and anyone who wants to be independent.
For information on services, equipment, education, funding, and more go to: https://ndassistive.org
Polar Communications provides products and services to requesting customers with visual impairments for easier digital content engagement.
Accessibility – Polar Communications offers its customers navigation devices with the requisite accessibility features for customers that are blind or visually impaired. Polar Communications’ video platform provides support for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and audible accessibility for the enjoyment of Polar Communications’ programming on any TV in the home and for recording programs in the cloud for playback on linked devices.
To obtain additional information such as user guides in accessible format, or to request support with Accessibility and instrumental products, services, devices and features, including Braille, large print documentation, and audible accessibility please call us at 701-284-7221.
For any concerns or complaints, please contact us:
Mail: P.O. Box 270 / Park River, ND 58270
Additional Accessibility Support
Large-Button Remotes – Remote Controls with larger buttons are available for purchase through Polar Communications by contacting our Service Center at 701-284-7221.
Bill Reading – If you’d like to pay your bill over phone, a Customer Service Representatives can read your bill over the phone upon request.
Video Description – Audio narrated descriptions of the key visual elements of a TV program or movie are available via an audio accessible set-top box by contacting our Service Center at 701-284-7221.
Closed Captioning – Navigation devices provided by Polar Communications include a mechanism reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for easy activation of the embedded closed captioning function.
TTY Dialing – Phone service is compatible with TTY equipment.