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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

FCC Announces Emergency Broadband Benefit Start Date

Yesterday the FCC announced that eligible households can begin applying for the Emergency Broadband Benefit on May 12, 2021. Read the announcement (PDF)

The Emergency Broadband Program will provide a monthly discount toward broadband service for eligible households and one-time discounts for the purchase of certain devices from participating providers. The COVID-19 package passed in December required the FCC to develop this program to help struggling households pay for internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Beginning on May 12 households can apply in three ways: 

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.  
  2. Go to to apply online and to find participating providers near you. 
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center / P.O. Box 7081 / London, KY 40742 

If you would like more information about the Emergency Broadband Program, you can contact the FCC at [email protected] or visit At the website, there is also a recording of a webinar held earlier this week that provided an overview of the benefit, eligibility criteria, how to apply, and the FCC’s partner toolkit. For those who use American Sign Language, you may call the FCC Consumer ASL Line at 844-432-2275.