Updated May 12, 2021: Enrollment is now open. Keep reading for details and to see if you qualify.
It’s easy to take the internet for granted. You can access all this information from a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop. And as time goes by, it’s only growing and getting faster.
When was the last time you looked over your internet service plan? Have you shopped around and browsed other providers? You may find a better deal than what you have now. Tap or click here for seven ways to lower your internet bill.
Internet access is essential during a global pandemic. But not everyone can afford to surf the internet with abandon. That’s why a new government initiative seeks to give low-income households a break when it comes to internet bills. Those who qualify can also get a discount on a computer or tablet. Read on for more details.
Now more than ever
The pandemic has made it important to stay connected. For many, it’s essential just to keep their job. And with many schools still shut down, students need to attend virtual classes. Tap or click here to see if the pandemic has hurt your credit score.
Not everyone can afford consistent broadband internet or a device to access it. Now, the FCC has announced a $3.2 billion federal initiative that provides discounts on internet service bills as well as a break on computers and tablets.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) is the largest ever of its kind. “This is a program that will help those at risk of digital disconnection,” the press release reads.
“It will help those sitting in cars in parking lots just to catch a Wi-Fi signal to go online for work. It will help those lingering outside the library with a laptop just to get a wireless signal for remote learning. It will help those who worry about choosing between paying a broadband bill and paying rent or buying groceries.”
Enrollment opened on May 12, 2021. An FCC statement read:
“The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021. The 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.”
If you qualify, you can get a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband service and up to $75 if you live on Tribal lands. A one-time discount of $100 for a computer or tablet is also available.
Who is eligible?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to various types of qualifying households and individuals. See below for more.
- Households that already subscribe to a low-income or pandemic relief program from their internet provider.
- Lifeline subscribers (a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet) are also eligible, including those on Medicaid and SNAP.
- Households with children who receive free or reduced-price meals at school.
- Students who received a federal Pell grant.
- People who lost jobs and income in the past year.
Click here for more details and see if you’re eligible.