As we continue to adjust to life during the pandemic, many of us relay on internet service to stay connected. A new program from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) called The Emergency Broadband Benefit has been announced to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.
About the Emergency Broadband Benefit
The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
- Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
When Can I Sign Up for the Benefit?
The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been established. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible.
Visit the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ at this link https://www.fcc.gov/consumer-faq-emergency-broadband-benefit for more information about the benefit and please continue to check back here for program updates.