Federal Communications Commission
Today, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced over four million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, the nation’s largest broadband affordability program to date. The $3.2 billion subsidy program initiated by Congress provides a temporary $50 to $75 discount on eligible households’ internet bills during the duration of the pandemic.
“We knew from the beginning that the success of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program would largely depend on mobilizing trusted on-the-ground advocates and community leaders. With more than four million enrolled households in less than three months, I say we’re on the right track,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman. “We’ve made terrific progress, but the Federal Communications Commission remains committed to building on this initial momentum so we can connect as many families as possible and help those struggling to get online.”
Since the program’s inception, the Federal Communications Commission has found creative ways to increase awareness and educate consumers, providers, advocates, and more about this program. In addition to extensive press engagement, agency staff have conducted over 320 virtual public presentations—ranging from smaller localized events for community groups and libraries to larger train the trainer style events with national non-profit organizations. Also, the Federal Communications Commission enlisted over 25,000 partners ranging from local Boys and Girls clubs, school districts, libraries, YMCAs, food banks, Meals on Wheels and grass roots organizers and more to help us spread the word about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The agency provided outreach partners with a customizable toolkit that includes a wide variety of materials to use when spreading the word about this important program. Those materials are available in English and Spanish along with 13 other languages.
Over 1100 broadband providers have agreed to take part in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers. Customers can sign up by contacting a participating provider, enroll online at https://www.getemergencybroadband.org, or sign up via mail. To learn more or learn where to access a mail-in application, call (833) 511-0311.
Households can qualify for the temporary assistance in a number of ways, such as through the use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline or if a child received reduced-price school meals programs in the last two school years. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is also available to households who are eligible for a broadband provider’s existing COVID relief program, to those who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, and to those low-income households who suffered a significant loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.