What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary Federal Communications Commission program to help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program officially launches Wednesday, May 12th.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides:
- Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;
- Up to $75/month discount for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible?
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
How Can I sign up?
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment will begin accepting applications on May 12, 2021. Applications are not available yet but will be on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll in 3 different ways:
- Apply online with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) at getemergencybroadband.org
- Contact your Preferred Participating Provider Directly. Ask your provider if they participate in the EBB, or use the FCC’s online tool to find a participating company near you.
- Mail-in application. Print and send the completed application, with proof of eligibility, to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742.
How long will the program last?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. Congress has allocated $3.2 Billion for the program.
Participating households will need to opt-in to continue receiving broadband services from their provider after the program ends. If a household chooses to continue receiving service after the end of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, they will be billed the broadband provider’s general monthly rate.
Where can I find more information?
Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week
Printable information Materials from the FCC:
Fact Sheets in Additional Languages: Arabic (PDF), Amharic (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Chinese (Traditional) (PDF), French (PDF), Haitian Creole (PDF), Korean (PDF), Portuguese (PDF), Russian (PDF), Somali (PDF), Tagalog (PDF), and Vietnamese: (PDF).