Tuesday, May 11, 2021

FCC announces help for low income people to obtain internet service

 The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program will be available for individuals to apply to. This benefit is intended to provide temporary assistance to households who do not have or cannot afford high speed broadband in their place of residence. Eligible households will be able to receive up to a $50/month discount on an eligible internet service plan (Households on Tribal lands can receive up to a $75 discount). Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) participating in this program are also offering a discount on the purchase of certain devices.

Some important things to know:
  • Households can sign up for the EBB program through the (1) participating provider's website, (2) applying online through the National Verifier, (3) or through the mail.
  • USAC also has created an Emergency Broadband Support Center with a hotline (833) 511-0311 and an email (EBBHelp@USAC.org) where they will answer questions for all interested parties. The Hotline is open from 9am-9pm ET. 7 days a week
  • USAC also has a website where households or consumer-based orgs will be able to obtain the EBB application UPON THE START OF THE PROGRAM. Getemergencybroadband.org 
  • Some local libraries will be prepared to help patrons who need assistance signing up. One would just need to ask at the reference desk whether the help is available or not.
Editor's note
 Lack of internet service is a big issue for many of my clients who have to go to the library or other public place to get online. This is a major issue in this modern age for doing even simply tasks like making job applications, accessing information about organizations, getting directions, etc.

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