WASHINGTON, January 28, 2021—FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today announced that she will convene a virtual roundtable discussion on February 12, 2021 to gather public input on how to structure the new Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress appropriated $3.2 billion for a new a program that would enable eligible households to receive a discount on the cost of broadband service and certain connected devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The hard truth is that the cost of broadband service can be difficult for many families, especially those struggling financially in the ongoing pandemic,” said Rosenworcel. “We need to fix this, and this program promises to help ease the burden so families can access the telehealth, online learning and job opportunities that are essential to daily life. I thank Congress for providing the funding for this program and look forward to this roundtable discussion on how to get it up and running to reach those in need.”
The roundtable will allow interested parties an opportunity to share ideas on the important public policy and program administration decisions that will shape the Commission’s approach to establishing the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The Commission is currently gathering comments on the program in response to a request for comment issued January 4, 2021. Reply comments are due February 16, 2021.
The Wireline Competition Bureau will announce further information about the event in coming days, including panel discussion topics, and participants. The video discussion will be available at www.fcc.gov/live.