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Emergency Broadband Benefit

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021. The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

Why Cal.net

We provide internet to both urban and rural communities, but what makes this special is what you won’t find

 

  1. Unlimited Data Plans starting at less than $50/mo
  2. NO Data Caps
  3. NO Contracts
  4. NO “New Customers Only” Introductory Prices

 

What we do provide is some of the best high speed internet access you could ever ask for. Our robust, enterprise class network is monitored 24/7/365 and can easily provide your home with great internet speeds at very affordable prices.

Receive Your Benefit

The EBB will be open to applicants on May 12, 2021. Click the link below to apply.

Are you eligible?

See if your household fits into any eligible categories

Do you qualify?

Review Emergency Broadband availabilty

Apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit

Choose how you want to apply and submit all necessary documents

Your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if it has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR any member of the household:

  • Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
  • Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
  • Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
  • Received approval for 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; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.

 

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household residing at the same address.

Qualify Through Your Child or Dependent

Any member of your household can make your household eligible. For example, if your child or dependent participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

If You Already Receive Lifeline Benefits

Lifeline is a program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. If you currently receive Lifeline benefits, you automatically qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and you can receive both benefits at the same time. You can apply your Emergency Broadband Benefit and your Lifeline benefit to the same or separate services. Talk to your broadband provider to learn how to start receiving EBB Program discounts.

If Your Broadband Provider Already Has Its Own Low-Income or COVID-19 Relief Program

If your broadband provider already has its own low-income or COVID-19 relief program, you may be able to qualify through this program as well. Talk to your broadband provider for more information.

If You Use SNAP, Medicaid, or Other Programs

You can receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit if you (or someone in your household) participates in one of these federal assistance programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors BenefitFree and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
  • Tribal Specific Programs:
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance,
    • Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard),
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at US Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision schools
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year

You may need to show a card, letter, or official document as proof that you participate in one of these programs when you apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

If Your Household Income Is a Certain Amount

You can get the Emergency Broadband Benefit if your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines. The guideline is based on your household size and state.

You will have to show proof of income, like pay stubs or a tax return, when you apply for the EBB Program.

If You Experienced a Substantial Loss of Income

If you experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 because you lost your job or were furloughed, you may qualify for the EBB Program. To qualify in this way, your total household income in 2020 must be at or below $99,000 (for single tax filers) and $198,000 (for joint tax filers).

You will have to show proof of your total income, like a tax return or official documentation containing income information, as well as proof of the loss of income, like a termination letter or furlough notice, when you apply for the EBB Program.

Complete this form to qualify if you are in our service area.

There are three ways to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Applications will become available when the program opens on May 12, 2021.

 

Online with USAC
Use the online application (available in English and Spanish).

 

Mail with USAC
Print an application in English or Spanish (instructions also available in 8 additional languages).

Complete the application and send with proof of eligibility to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742

 

Contact cal.net
Use our online tool to find a participating company near you. Participating companies can help you apply through the National Verifier or through their company’s application process.

Emergency Broadband Benefit FAQ

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a federal benefit that ensures that qualifying consumers have access to high-quality internet services. Cal.net has been authorized to provide the Emergency Broadband Benefit to qualifying customers to our service areas in California. This means that if you are eligible, you can receive internet at a reduced rate of:

  • Up to $50 off monthly internet for eligible households
  • Up to $75 off monthly internet for tribal lands
  • One-time discount of $100 towards a laptop, desktop, or tablet from participating internet providers, contingent upon their contribution of $10 to $50 toward purchase.

There are 3 ways you can apply:

Option 1:  Apply with a service provider 

  • The consumer visits a service provider.
  • The service provider will get the consumer’s consent to enter the consumer’s information into the National Verifier service provider portal.
  • This is an in-person interaction, where the service provider asks the consumer questions in an interview style approach.

Option 2: Apply online

  • The consumer visits the National Verifier from any computer or mobile device to complete the electronic application
  • The consumer contacts a service provider to enroll in the EBB Program.

Option 3: Apply by Mail

  • The consumer fills out and signs the National Verifier EBB Application Form 
  • The consumer mails the application and supporting documentation to the Emergency Broadband Support Center
  • Service providers may assist consumers with the paper application and mail it on the consumer’s behalf.

 

The National Verifier will use the consumer’s information to perform the following automated checks: 

  • Eligibility check 
  • Identity check 
  • Address check 
  • Duplicate subscriber check 
  • Duplicate address check 
  • Tribal eligibility check 

If any of these checks return errors, the consumer will be directed to either resolve the error in the portal or to provide documents.

 

Yes. The federal government has implemented a variety of restrictions to help ensure that only qualifying consumers obtain the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

One Benefit Per Household 

Only one Emergency Broadband Benefit service is available per “household.”  (A “household” means “any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses as one economic unit.”)  A “household” is not permitted to receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit from multiple providers. Violation of the one-per-household limitation constitutes a violation of the federal regulations and will result in disenrollment from the program.

Proof of Eligibility 

When applying for Emergency Broadband Benefit service, applicants must provide documentation demonstrating that they are eligible. More information can be found in the eligibility requirements.

Loss of Eligibility

An Emergency Broadband Benefit customer must notify Cal.net within 30 days if he or she is no longer eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit service for any reason.  (For example, a customer may no longer be eligible if he or she no longer participates in a qualifying low-income program, if he or she no longer meets the low-income thresholds, or if he or she or a member of the household receives another Emergency Broadband Benefit service.)

Change of Address 

An Emergency Broadband Benefit customer must notify Cal.net within 30 days if he or she moves to a new residential address.

Certification Under Penalty of Perjury. Emergency Broadband Benefit applicants must certify under penalty of perjury that the information contained on their application forms is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

Recertification

Emergency Broadband Benefit customers must recertify their eligibility on an annual basis and may be asked to recertify more frequently.  Failure to recertify will result in de-enrollment from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Non-Transferable

The Emergency Broadband Benefit service cannot be transferred from one individual to another.

Consent to Provide Information to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program administrator.  All Emergency Broadband Benefit applicants must permit Cal.net to provide the customer’s name, telephone number, date of birth, and last four digits of social security number to the Universal Service Administrative Company (and/or its agents) for the purpose of verifying that the subscriber does not receive more than one Emergency Broadband Benefit package.  USAC is the company that administers the Emergency Broadband Benefit program on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a federal program that ensures qualifying customers have access to high-quality internet services. 

Cal.net’s eligible Wireless Internet plan features: 

  • Prices that start at less than $50/month
  • No Data Caps
  • No Throttling
  • No Contracts

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Bridging the digital divide means more than just access to the internet and computers! Our team is ready to support customers to increase their knowledge and skills to best utilize their new computers.

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