MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) — The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the coronavirus pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more.
Through the Emergency Broadband Benefit, eligible households may receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers, if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 towards the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
According to FCC’s website, a household is eligible if a household member meets one of the following criteria:
- 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 Lifeline.
- Is 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, due to 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.
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
As of May 12, 2021, eligible households can enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider.