On May 12, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) kicked off the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The benefit provides eligible consumers discounts on broadband service and devices. The benefit will continue until there is no longer funding or six months after the federal government declares an end to the pandemic.
Eligible households will be able to receive:
- $50/month discount for high-speed internet services.
- $75/month discount for high-speed internet services for households on Tribal lands.
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
In Massachusetts, the benefit is being offered by 26 broadband providers. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.
The eligibility for the benefit is broad. It includes any household with an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or if any member of the household qualifies through various means. This includes but is not limited to participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, as well as certain qualifying events such as experiencing substantial loss of income or receiving a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
Customers can sign up by contacting a participating provider, enrolling online at https://getemergencybroadband.org/, or sending forms via mail. More information about the application process is available online or by calling 833-511-0311.
The FCC has also created outreach materials, including flyers, brochures, application forms and instructions. Application forms and instructions are available in ten languages.
For more information, visit the Emergency Broadband Benefit website.