More than 1 million households in all 50 states have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a subsidy designed to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EBB provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households to help ensure they are connected to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more. Over 900 broadband providers, including 31 serving New Jersey households, have agreed to take part in the program.
“The high demand we’ve seen for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program demonstrates what many of us already knew to be true – too many families are struggling to get online, even in 2021,” said FCC acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We’re continuing to focus our efforts on reaching as many communities as possible, so they can get the support they need.”
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Has been approved to receive 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;
- Has received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Has experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 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.