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FCC Helps Households Connect During the Pandemic

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on May 28, 2021

Good news for families and households struggling to afford internet service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit program which provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.

FCC Helps Households Connect During the Pandemic

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

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;

• 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;

• Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

• Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 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.

For local families who use Charter (Spectrum), the company is offering a variety of broadband options under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and all Spectrum Internet plans available have no modem fees, data caps or contracts and include free self-installation. Interested consumers who are not currently Spectrum customers should visit www.spectrum.com/getqualified or call 1-855-662-9946. Current Spectrum customers can visit www.spectrum.net/broadbandbenefit to learn more.

To find out more about the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, please visit https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

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