This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the Emergency Broadband Benefit program that provides a discount on internet services to qualifying households and families. It is designed to help those who have struggled to afford internet during COVID-19.
According to the FCC, the program will give eligible households up to $50 per month toward broadband services. Households on qualifying Tribal lands will be eligible for up to $75 toward broadband services. It is stated that eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit applies to one monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household.
To qualify, the FCC states that a household member must meet one of the following criteria:
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 lists three ways for eligible households to apply:
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 copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742