It’s been just shy of a month since the federal government launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP), and already more than 2.3 million households have enrolled in the program that helps pay for monthly broadband services and some one-time purchases.
Available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa, EBBP provides the following discounts for eligible consumers:
- Up to $50 month discount for broadband services per household
- Up to $75 month discount for broadband services per household on Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop or tablet computer purchased through a participating provider
Who is eligible?
Households can qualify for the program if one member meets at least one of the following criteria:
- Has an income that is at or below 135 percent 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
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program
How does someone apply?
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan. There are three ways for eligible households to apply:
- Contact a participating broadband providerdirectly to learn about their application process.
- Go to orgto apply online and to find participating providers near you.
- Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility
After qualifying, households must contact a participating provider to select an eligible service plan.
For more information on the application process, visit the Emergency Broadband Benefit website, or go directly to the application at getemergencybroadband.org.
What does this have to do with literacy?
Computer literacy is critical in today’s workforce. It enhances communication, facilitates innumerable transactions and opens up a world of job opportunities. It’s also one of ReadWest’s core programs. In our modular program, students learn how to use the internet, set up an email account, send an email with attachments, apply for jobs and other introductory computer uses.
Spread the word!
To learn more about EBBP, visit the FCC’s website. For even more resources, including materials in 12 different languages, check out the EBBP Toolkit. And if you, or someone you know, could benefit from the program, start your application today!
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