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

The Emergency Broadband Benefit: Additional Information and Expanded Eligibility

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a program that helps low-income households afford internet services and devices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Households that are eligible can receive:

  • One discount up to $50/month on broadband service and related equipment (up to a $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands)
  • A one-time discount up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer

The program is run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC has a website with information about the program. This website also has information about eligibility, how to apply, and how to find a local provider.

This is an important program, so please help us spread the word! If you work at a Center for Independent Living (CIL) or another organization that serves disabled people, please share this alert.

If you would like more information about the Emergency Broadband Program, you can contact the FCC at broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov or visit fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit. For those who use American Sign Language, you may call the FCC Consumer ASL Line at 844-432-2275.

Updates from the Emergency Broadband Program

Expanded Eligibility

Earlier this month, the FCC announced expanded eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Program. Households with a member approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program in the current 2021-2022 school year are now eligible. This includes people approved through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision. The FCC’s public notice with this information can be found at docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1119A1.pdf.

Lifeline

Lifeline is another FCC program. This program gives eligible households discounts on phone or internet services. More information about Lifeline can be found at fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers. Households that quality for lifeline can also quality for the Emergency Broadband Benefit at the same time. They can opt-in with their current Lifeline provider, or they can contact a different participating provider. See a list of participating providers near you.

** Fraud Alert **

The FCC issued a consumer advisory warning to the public about an Emergency Broadband Benefit imposter website. This website was collecting personal information falsely claiming to provide free devices and services. The FCC reminded everyone to only use the official Emergency Broadband Benefit website, GetEmergencyBroadband.org, to enroll in the program. People can also contact a participating provider directly, but they should first verify that a provider is approved to participate in the program by visiting fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers and searching by their state or territory. The FCC’s consumer advisory has more information, including about steps to take if you gave an imposter website your information or payment.

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