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The phone service provider also partners with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to help lower the cost of service for qualifying households, in addition to a variety of plans and options

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Cricket Store Manager, Christine Mehlum and Jacob Hinds pause for a photo at the Prineville Cricket Wireless store on a Friday afternoon. As of June 2022, Prineville gained a new cell phone service provider.

Located at 449 NW Third St., the new Prineville Cricket cell phone provider is located between Cougar Cuts and H&R Block.

Cricket is a franchise of Spacetel for Cricket Wireless. Cricket offers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is a federal program that helps lower the cost of service for qualifying households. It is an affordable connectivity program for seniors and low income. The program pays up to $30 of their bill, and if they have the $30 plan, they get free service. Potential customers who receive SNAP, WIC, medical benefits, public housing or Social Security qualify for the benefits of the ACP plans.

Christine Mehlum, store manager for Prineville Cricket, is joined by advocates, Jacob Hinds and Jason Huson. Mehlum emphasized that they are not just a cell phone store.

"We sell more than just cell phones, we have lots of accessories. I know a lot of people need memory cards, or power banks, or chargers — we have all of that. We also sell lots of speakers as well," she said.

She indicated that they are affiliated with AT&T, and she stated that when she travels, she takes a Verizon phone and a Cricket. When she takes them both to compare, she finds her Cricket gets full bars in rural areas compared to her Verizon phone.

Cricket has an assortment of plans — all unlimited talk and text. There are other plans with different amounts of data. If the customer qualifies, the $30 subsidy applies to all plans, and there are discounts with additional lines.

Originally, Cricket began 10 years ago in Fresno, California, and they currently expanded from Fresno to Arizona, all of California, Oregon and Washington. They currently provide coverage in remote areas like Mitchell, and most of Central Oregon. Their coverage is also very good between Prineville and Boise, Idaho, with good coverage in rural areas like John Day in between the locations.

The local franchise also has stores in Medford, Dallas, Independence and Mount Hood. The Prineville location is the only franchise in Central Oregon.

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Cricket Wireless

Store Manager: Christine Mehlum

Address: 449 NW Third St., Ste A

Contact: 541-903-5252

Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.


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