The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program has reached a 5 million-household enrollment level, all of whom signed up since the program’s inception in mid-May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced last week.
The program covers some of the costs of monthly broadband connectivity and equipment needed for connectivity.
The 5 million plateau was surpassed a little more than a month after the program surpassed 4 million enrollees. More than 1160 broadband providers are participating in the EBB program.
The FCC also started releasing more in-depth enrollment data, including enrollee demographic information, such as age breakdown, eligibility category, type of broadband service, and enrollment numbers by five-digit zip code area. The goal is to increase transparency in the program as well as to empower its outreach partners to better target awareness and enrollment efforts.
Among other data that is available to the public are nationwide and state-specific enrollment figures, the amount of program funds disbursed as participating providers file reimbursement claims, and five-digit Zip code data.
“Enrolling five million households into the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program in a little over three months is no small feat. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of nearly 30,000 individuals and organizations who signed up as volunteer outreach partners,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC acting chairwoman, in a prepared statement about the 5 million Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment milestone.
“I’m grateful for the tremendous work the agency and our partners across the country have spearheaded over the last few months. Through our analysis and conversations with partners, we heard the need for more granular data and today’s data release provides us all new opportunities to target and engage eligible families who may qualify for EBB but haven’t yet enrolled. Information is power. We’re ready to put this new data to work.”
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment is still available. Households can qualify through their use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline or if a child received reduced-price school meals programs in the last two school years.
The program is also available to households that are eligible for a broadband provider’s existing COVID relief program, to those who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, and to those low-income households that suffered a significant loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.