The FCC has set May 12 as the first date that eligible households can begin enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
The program will give eligible households discounts of as much as $50 per month for broadband service. The discounts are $75 for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households also will get a one-time discount of as much as $100 for a computer or tablet.
The law defines eligible households as those that participate in existing low-income or pandemic relief programs offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers including those on Medicaid or that accept SNAP benefits; those with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.
The FCC is encouraging partners and providers to alert people to the program and how to sign up and says that they will provide materials to help in these efforts. More information is available at this link.
“Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic,” Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release. about the Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment date. “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. I’m proud of the work we’ve done as an agency to get this program off the ground in record time.”
The FCC is standing up the program quickly:
- In late February, The FCC unanimously adopted a Report and Order establishing the program.
- Earlier this month, the FCC opened the program to participating providers for testing.