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Government

Eligible Consumers Can Receive Pandemic Broadband Discounts

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Eligible households can receive assistance with broadband access in a new program from the FCC.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the need for high-speed internet connectivity, and it’s further emphasized the problems with high-speed access.

Starting on May 12, eligible consumers will be able to sign up for temporary discounts on broadband services and on the purchase of laptops, desktop computers, and tablets through the Federal Communications Commission’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

This program will continue until funding runs out or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic.

Eligible households can receive up to $50 a month. Those living on qualified tribal lands can receive $75 per month. Consumers can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

To be eligible, one person in the household must be low-income, at or below 135% of the federal poverty level. Or, they may also be participating in assistance programs including SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline, and relying on free and reduced-price school meals or have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.

Alternatively, consumers who have suffered a large loss in income during the pandemic (due to job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020) are also eligible, providing that the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.

Consumers can locate a local internet provider from this list. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers. More information is available on the website www.getemergencybroadband.org or by calling (833) 511-0311.


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