FCC offers program to help households acquire internet

Technology

FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. The U.S. internet won’t get overloaded by spikes in traffic from the millions of Americans now working from home to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus, experts say. But connections could stumble for many if too many family members try to videoconference at the same time. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic help with the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. 

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets 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 Lifeline;
  • 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; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Learn more and how to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit at the FCC website: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

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