EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT
Helping communities and families get digitally connected
Reliable and affordable access to the internet is essential for everything from scheduling health care appointments to ensuring students have the necessary tools for remote learning. Unfortunately, people in the United States pay some of the highest prices in the world to access the internet.
Lack of internet access, or the digital divide, has long been a problem across the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made access to the internet even less affordable. This pandemic continues to prove that having access to the internet at home is an essential resource. Yet, our nation’s most marginalized communities are hit hardest by the digital divide.
That’s why the civil rights community pushed Congress to implement a new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), to help make sure more people can afford to stay connected to the internet during the pandemic. This program, run through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), rolled out the week of May 12, 2021 — when eligible households can begin to apply for this short-term program, which will provide up to $50 toward the cost of broadband service.
As a new, first-of-its-kind program, the EBB provides discounts on eligible households’ internet bills. Program participants will receive a discount of up to $50 per month toward home internet 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 Internet Service Providers.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides:
- 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 Internet Service Provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
If you currently receive Lifeline benefits, you automatically qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and you can receive both benefits at the same time. You can apply your Emergency Broadband Benefit and your Lifeline benefit to the same or separate services. Talk to your broadband provider to learn how to start receiving EBB Program discounts.
There are several ways individuals and families can qualify for the EBB $50 discount:
- If you or someone in your household participates in or qualifies for one of the following federal programs:
- The Lifeline Program
- Supplemental Social Security (SSI)
- Veteran’s Pension and Survivors Benefits
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Free and Reduced Lunch Program
- Pell Grant
- You may also qualify if:
- You are an existing customer of a discounted internet program (example: you or your family currently subscribe to Comcast Internet Essentials).
- Your yearly income is less than 135% of the federal poverty line.
- You have had a loss of income or job since March 2020 and make less than $99,000 as an individual or less than $198,000 as a family.
Households may visit EBB online, to see if you qualify and enroll. Households may also enroll by mail (learn more here), or through a participating broadband provider. You may call 833-511-0311 for more information about enrollment.
Let’s #GetConnectedEBB, and encourage households to enroll in this important program!
The program launched May 12, 2021 and will continue indefinitely until funding for the program runs out.