Currently according to the net ( Wikipedia ) this freebie may find it's way out, as it could be since October 27, 2011, the FCC approved a six-year transfer process that would transition money from the Universal Service Fund High-Cost Program to a new $4.5 billion a year Connect America Fund for broadband Internet expansion, effectively putting an end to the USF High-Cost Fund by 2018.
This means the cell service will probably stay but transfer to something else if/when that time comes given funding appeals, so on. What happens that I know of when this happens, it can mean discontinue of service at current level and stature, and, at the time durations coming upon that time to come, current applications no longer apply, meaning service will stop, so this means those with services at current level of applications will no longer be available to future. In laymens terms, it's built in obsolescence.
I have a cell from Safelink, it's been since 2009, no trouble with them except since they last renewed their tower ratios on land, service is sporadic, meaning the signal comes and goes as a sign wave like ocean waves at sea. Before that it was very good, but, since this is a funded operation and last checking was that it was granted with an offshore concern, no wonder the given stature with this cell service by FCC. Anyway I know it won't last too long, how this service is, like the Packard auto back long ago, this cell or any other service in fact using a funded application does not stay around too long as is. It will not go away but cease under new management which means what's in use expires, won't renew, the service new is changed anyway, then you have to buy new service along with the product whether it's free or not.
As a Taoist might say, it's the way of things, so for now grunt and bear it, or, just forget it, however this can't be done if life threatening, and if that, hope the signal is good to dial 911, and if not that, no cell phone service cause the person didn't have a phone. Ho boy, hmm.
Product or Service Mentioned: Safelink Wireless Phone Service.