A couple of weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the start date of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. As of tomorrow, May 12, eligible households will be able to enroll in the Program to receive a monthly discount on the cost of broadband service from an approved provider.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. Here’s more from Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC:
“Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner. In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities. I’m proud of the work we’ve done as an agency to get this program off the ground in record time…”
In addition to providing a discount on broadband service, eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating partners if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
How to Apply:
Beginning tomorrow, May 12, households can apply in three different ways:
- Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you
- Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application and return it along with proof of eligibility to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, Kentucky 40742
- Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275