Register by Texting 411SJON to 567-999-9826, or


FREE Lifeline Smart Cell Phones with HOTSPOT

Unlimited Text, Talk, and 4Gigs of Data

Optional:  Unlimited data plan for $20 per month for Santa Clara County residents that are adult learners or parents/caregivers of a school-age child.


  • American Broadband Telecommunications (ABT) – PUC licensed to provide Lifeline Services in the USA
  • New Wave Operations (NWC)   – Office in San Jose, CA
  • Gates Consulting Group (GCG) – Office in San Jose, CA


Gates requested a quote for unlimited Hotspot services last year from New Wave Operations, who then forwarded the request to American Broadband Telecommunications.  On July 28, 2020, the San Jose ON Memorandum of Understanding was signed that did the following:

  1. American Broadband Telecommunications will provide the San Jose ON Program 5,000 unlimited data accounts.
  2. Cost is $20 per month for Santa Clara County Residents that are Adult Learners or Parents/Caregivers of school-aged students.  No credit check is required.
  3. Participants must qualify and secure a FREE Lifeline Smart Cell Phone through the San Jose ON program to be eligible for the optional $20 unlimited plan.  The $20 unlimited plan is not required.
  4. Payment is made directly to ABT by participant or agency via an online portal or calling the Customer Service line. 
  5. Smart Cell Phones will be equal to a Maze 4g (or better) Lifeline Smart Cell Phone.  Service will not be throttled, and service will run through T-Mobile in Santa Clara County.
  6. Gates Consulting Group is the exclusive coordinator for this service in Santa Clara County.


San Jose ON was created by Gina Gates of Gates Consulting Group (GCG), a small business in San Jose, California, with a successful track record of training over 100,000 Californians by conducting workshops and Statewide online classes as well as serving on numerous boards including 211 Santa Clara County.     


  • People in financial distress are denigrated to conducting their “business in the street” to apply for a Free Lifeline cell phone.  The circus-like atmosphere of tents and barkers competing for attention outside of social service agencies, street corners, and other places where people seek assistance discourages people from applying for Lifeline phones. 

CHALLENGE (continued)

  • No other public utility registration is conducted like this, and most of these street vendors with tents outside of agencies do not have a business license or proper permits.  Consumers do not know how to shop for this service and can end up with a phone that is refurbished, has weak coverage and minimal data.
  • These factors have created a stigma to the “Obama phones,” which causes embarrassment and leads to people continuing to pay for telephone and data services that their budget cannot afford or simply go without communication or access to the Internet.  These challenges are particularly challenging for people recently joining the ranks of the long-term unemployed.
  • Organizations have not created a space for this critical service for their clients because of budget, time, and space constraints.  However, the issue of most significant concern is the lack of understanding that there are differences in Lifeline phones and a perspective that the current method to get a Lifeline phone is acceptable.       
  • Due to the pandemic, the need for connection to the Internet and communication with telephone and text services is imperative!


San Jose ON has created a bridge to agencies serving people in need and partnered with a local distributor (see more below) and a Telecommunications company that offers reliable service through the T-Mobile network.  San Jose ON has also designed a robust unlimited Hotspot service to help people in school and provides enrollment services in a professional, dignified manner to consumers that need extra special kind attention during these challenging times.  


Vince Thayer of New Wave Operations has over 19 years of experience in the Telecom industry and is the only local Lifeline distributor that has an office in San Jose. Mr. Thayer has a San Jose Business License and proper permits to conduct business in our community, as well as agreements with large establishments, including Walmart to recruit clients onsite.  All 4G phones are new.  The benefit of having an office accessible by agencies and the public is a notable advantage.  New Wave Operation’s office is on VTA’s bus 25 route (across the street from Walmart on Story Road), has convenient parking, and a large office lobby to adhere to social distancing requirements.  Appointments are required and may be made online. 

NEXT STEPS Santa Clara County Agencies, Schools, and CBO’s are invited to sign-up for a one-hour briefing on Zoom.   Register by Texting 411SJON to 567-999-9826, or CLICK HERE.