The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible families and households who are struggling to stay connected during the #COVID19 pandemic. Eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For more info, please visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit or getemergencybroadband.org
- What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.If your household is eligible, you can receive:
- Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.
- Does my family qualify?
Your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if it has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR any member of the household:
- Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
- Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Received approval for 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; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household residing at the same address.
- How does this program pertain to our School Lunch Program?
Any member of your household can make your household eligible. For example, if your child or dependent participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
- When does the program begin and end?
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 funds run 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.
- How can I receive my benefit?
Go to the FCC website The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (getemergencybroadband.org). Scroll down to Receive Your Benefit. Follow steps 1-3 to check if you qualify, apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and find a broadband provider near you.
- What is the School Food Authority’s (SFA) role in the program?
In some instances, School Food Authorities may provide the benefit notification which may have qualified the household for free or reduced-priced meals as a source document for the Broadband benefits. You should also be aware there may be families who reach out to SNAP offices orSchool Food Authorities with questions about the FCC EBB program or for documentation they can use to apply for the benefits.
- How does this affect carryover?
Households are able to use their current status at the time of application to FCC. This means if a household is still in carryover status; that is the most current status and should be used.
- Some SFAs may not have gone back into their software and changed students back to Free/Reduced status. If the students aren’t in the software AND they carryover, do these students receive this benefit and what kind of “proof” will be required for this program?
Yes, the carryover students receive the benefit. Anything from the SFA showing the current free and reduced-price determination will be acceptable. Households may request proof of Free/Reduced status and the SFA can provide a copy of their eligibility letter.
- Will ALL students at CEP schools qualify?
Yes, all students at a CEP school are eligible (All Scott County School District Schools are CEP).
- Is there anything that the SFAs would be expected to do or submit?
SFAs may be asked to provide documentation to and from families but should not be providing documentation to FCC directly. Disclosure requirements are still in effect and must have parental consent.
- What Broadband Providers Will Be Offering the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Many types of broadband providers can qualify to provide service in this program.
Please visit this page to see program vendors: Companies Near Me – EBBP (getemergencybroadband.org)
- Where can I find additional information about the EBBP?
The FCC is excited to partner with those who want to help get the word out about this critical program. Please visit www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit to sign up to receive important updates and information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.