FCC TO LAUNCE NEW EMERGENCY BROADBAND INITIATIVE

The FCC’s new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is scheduled to go live this month. Under the program eligible low-income households will receive temporary assistance to help pay for internet service during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Those eligible can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

According to the FCC, a household is considered eligible if a member meets one of the following criteria:

  • 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.

The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021.To apply visit: https://getemergencybroadband.org/