FCC to Provide Emergency Broadband Access with COVID Relief Funds

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a program designed to help those struggling to afford broadband internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are more details about the program:

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program opens on May 12th and provides eligible households:

§ Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;

§ Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and

§ A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Eligibility:

A household is eligible if a member of the household:

§ Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;

§ Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, 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 due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020;

§ Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program; or

§ If the household has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

How to apply:

1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.

2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.

3. 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

Photo by Howard Bouchevereau on Unsplash

For more on consumer issues, follow Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN

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