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FCC providing billions in broadband benefits to consumers

Beginning today, the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit will make available to consumers substantial discounts on broadband service and computers.

This pandemic-related program will continue until the $3.2 billion in federal funding runs out or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic.

 How does the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program work?

Eligible households can receive discounts off monthly broadband service:

  • Up to $50 per month for eligible households
  • Up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
  • 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.

Please Note: This will be applied directly to the consumers’ monthly bill. There is a limit of one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Eligibility – if one person in the household:

  • Demonstrates low income, at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty level;
  • Participates in assistance programs including SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Relies on free and reduced-price school meals;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Suffered a large loss in income during the pandemic 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;
  • Meets other eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Providers Near You: Over 825 broadband providers are taking part in the program.  The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.

How to sign up: 

  1. Contact a participating provider to sign up;
  2. Enroll online at www.getemergencybroadband.org; or
  3. Sign up via mail. To receive a mail-in application, call (833) 511-0311.

This is a temporary program.  When it ends, participating providers must give notice to customers and inform them of the cost for their plan after the discount ends.  Importantly, consumers will need to opt-in to continue with the service.

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