The Federal Communications Commission has unveiled 319 providers spanning the U.S. and half of its territories that have been accepted into the regulator’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
This is the first wave of accepted providers under the program, which was first announced in late February. The regulator expects additional program participation.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is available to households participating in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers; households with children receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients and people who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is designed to make broadband more affordable. Eligible households will receive discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service. Households on Tribal lands can receive discounts up to $75 a month. The program is also providing one-time discounts of up $100 on a computer or tablet.
“Ever since the FCC adopted rules for the nation’s largest-ever program to help households nationwide afford broadband service, agency staff has been hard at work providing interested providers with guidance to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program,” said acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a prepared statement. “This $3.2 billion program was designed to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those struggling to afford broadband connectivity during the ongoing pandemic and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in onboarding more than 300 providers into the program. Every day we are approving additional interested providers, developing the program systems to make it available for consumer sign-up, and working hard to ensure that eligible households most at risk of digital disconnection can soon take advantage of this benefit.”
A list of the Emergency Broadband Benefit provider participants can be found here.