Share in Your Townships: FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program launched on Wednesday, May 12. The program, which is being administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company, provides eligible households a discount of up to $50 a month for broadband service. That number jumps to $75 a month for households on Tribal lands. Consumers can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop, or tablet supplied through a participating provider.
Households can sign up by contacting a participating provider or they can enroll online at https://getemergencybroadband.org/. More than 825 broadband providers are participating in the program.
Households can qualify for the EBBP by showing that at least one member of their household meets one of the following criteria:
- Qualifies for the FCC’s Lifeline program, including those who are on Medicaid or received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits;
- Approved for the free or reduced-price school breakfast/lunch program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Receives benefits from one of the following federal assistance programs: Medicaid; SNAP; Supplemental Security Income; Federal Public Housing Assistance; or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
- Experienced substantial documented loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Qualifies for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 relief program, subject to FCC approval of that provider’s eligibility process; or
- If the household is located on Tribal lands, at least one member of the household participates in one of the following Tribal-specific federal assistance programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs general assistance; Tribally administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; Head Start (only those households meeting its income qualifying standard); or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
The FCC has created an outreach toolkit for local governments and organizations to help raise awareness about the program. It includes newsletter blurbs, flyers, consumer handouts and social media content, and other outreach materials.