The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help raise awareness 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 qualifying 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 a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- 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.
In announcing the official launch date, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated:
“Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner. In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities.”
Beginning on May 12, households can apply in three ways:
- Contacting their preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
- Going to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
- Calling 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application and returning it along with proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
This could be a helpful benefit to many citizens across the state. We encourage you to help us get the word out to those who could take advantage of this program.
Emergency Broadband Benefit toolkit materials are now available for download. The outreach toolkit is a collection of social media, printables, and other content to assist communities, outreach partners, and grassroots organizers in raising awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
All of the printed materials, except the poster, are designed to be printed in color or grayscale and can easily be printed on home or small office printers. Partners can copy and paste items like model tweets, a press release, and a newsletter insert. Social media images are also available to help spread awareness.
Audio PSAs are currently posted and will soon be joined by videos that provide an overview of the program including an American Sign Language version.
In addition to English and Spanish language versions of the materials, a fact sheet and two smaller printable handouts are available in Arabic, Amharic, Burmese, Traditional Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
Earlier this week the FCC hosted a webinar that provided an overview of the benefit, eligibility criteria, how to apply, and the FCC’s partner toolkit materials. A recording of the webinar can be viewed online.