Emergency Broadband Benefit Program The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program gives low-income households a discount on internet services so they don’t have to decide between purchasing broadband and other necessities as they work and learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, administered by the Federal Communications Commission, opens for enrollment on May 12, 2021. Households may receive a discount of up to $50 a month for their internet bill. That rises to $75 a month for broadband service on tribal lands. Households may also receive $100 to buy a laptop, desktop or tablet through their internet provider. The following frequently asked questions offer helpful information on participation and outreach for consumers, community groups and providers. Consumers Who may receive the discount for internet service? The FCC has set criteria for who may receive internet service discounts from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. At least one member of a household must meet one of these conditions: Substantial income loss due to layoffs or job furloughs since Feb. 29, 2020 Applying for or receiving unemployment benefits Receiving a Federal Pell Grant in the 2020-2021 award year Participating in the free and reduced-price school lunch or breakfast program (including through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision) in the 2020-2021 or 2019-2020 school year Eligible for an internet service provider’s low-income or COVID-19 program Participating in the Lifeline program or a federal assistance program: Medicaid Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Federal public housing assistance Veterans Pension or Veterans Affairs Survivors Pension Household income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines When does the discount start? Enrollment in the program starts May 12. When will the discount end? The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will end six months after the federal government says the pandemic is over or when the program uses all of its $3.2 billion funding. Providers must let consumers know at least 30 days before the discount ends. Participants must opt-in to continue service before providers charge them a higher rate. The FCC gives more information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program for consumers. Who offers the discount? The FCC maintains a list of providers participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The agency is also building a search tool so you can find participating providers near you. How can I get the discount? Households may apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program either through their participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company. Applications open May 12, 2021. The FCC provides more information about how to apply. Outreach How can my organization help spread the word about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to those who need it? Consumer groups, community anchor institutions, faith-based organizations and local nonprofits can reach out to inform their communities about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Local leaders are encouraged to print, publish, use, and distribute the materials to their communities through their online and offline channels. By spreading the word, your organization can help empower your neighbors who do not have access to high-speed broadband. What materials can I use to spread the word? The Broadband Infrastructure Office and the FCC have both developed outreach materials that can be distributed offline and online. The materials below can be downloaded, posted and printed for use. Broadband Infrastructure Office informational handout Broadband Infrastructure Office flier (available in English and Spanish) FCC outreach toolkit (available in English and Spanish) FCC social media images Do you need other materials? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs and how the Broadband Infrastructure Office might be able to help. What's the best way to spread the word? Social media or other internet channels are great tools for communications and outreach but should not be used exclusively because they miss key groups who need the information the most. Outreach materials can be inserted in community mailings, such as utility bills, school board notifications, library notices and church bulletins. They can be posted in community hubs, such as libraries, coffee shops, schools and places of worship. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance shares tips for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program outreach: Research shows that for digital adoption, the most effective marketing and information-based outreach, includes partnerships with public agencies, community-based organizations, 211 and 311 helplines and local media. Customize outreach materials with local information, and translate them as needed. Work with organizations serving populations less likely to have home broadband service. Maintain a list of local internet providers participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Request local internet providers' reports on marketing, outreach, application support progress and enrollment numbers. Check and share when the Universal Service Administrative Company ends the program. Help participants choose a different plan or pay the full cost. Providers What internet service providers offer the discount? The FCC maintains a list of providers participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The agency is also building a search tool so you can find participating providers near you. How can providers participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? The FCC provides extensive guidance for broadband providers wishing to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Eligible providers may include cable providers, wireless Internet service providers and non-traditional broadband providers, such as community-owned networks, electric cooperatives and municipal governments. All providers must: Be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier or, if not, seek approval from the FCC File elections to Universal Service Administrative Company to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Provide end users with broadband internet access service as defined by Section 8.1 of the FCC’s rules, as of Dec. 1, 2020 Reference an FCC Form 477 filing demonstrating that it provided broadband service as of Dec. 1, 2020, or otherwise demonstrate that it did so from certification and documentation submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company or Wireline Competition Bureau Provide retail broadband service to end users, including maintaining direct relationships with customers, handling customer complaints and billing and offering service quality guarantees More information and details about the approval process can be found in the Provider FCC Approvals tab and the Provider USAC Elections tab on the FCC website for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.