Have you heard about the new Emergency Broadband Benefit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)? We’re here to break down for you what exactly this benefit covers, how it can help you, and who qualifies for it.
What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a federal program that is intended to help qualifying Americans pay for broadband internet service. More and more of our daily life has gone virtual including work, healthcare appointments, and even school. This makes the internet more of a necessity than ever before, yet not everyone can access it. The Emergency Broadband Benefit was created to address this need.
Under the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit, households can receive up to $50 per month to pay for broadband internet services, if eligible. For those who live on certain tribal lands, the discount may be up to $75 per month. But, the benefits don’t stop there. This program also offers a one-time, $100 discount on “a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers”. All you have to do is contribute at least $10 but no more than $50 to the purchase. Please keep in mind that you may only receive one monthly internet benefit and one device benefit per household.
Are you eligible?
The FCC has set qualifications for who can receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The FCC states that eligible households must have at least one household member who:
- Is eligible for the Lifeline program
- Participates in a Lifeline-qualifying government program
- Qualifies for free or reduced lunch currently or during the 2019-2020 school year
- Qualified for a Pell Grant during the 2020-2021 school year
- Has household income at or below 135% of federal poverty limit
- Had a total income in 2020 of less than “$99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers” due to a loss of income after February 29, 2020
- Is eligible “for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program”
How can you get started?
The FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit was approved recently, and is set to begin May 1, 2021. However, it is a limited program, and it will end once there are no more funds or the COVID-19 pandemic is over, whichever comes first. So, you will want to be prepared to apply once the benefit begins.
Right now the FCC is still accepting applications from providers who would like to participate in this program. Cal.net has applied and is planning on participating in this program. Cal.net is known for bringing fast and reliable internet services to the rural markets in California. If you are looking to take advantage of the Emergency Broadband Benefit once available, please contact Cal.net at (844)-229-3899.
Cal.net has been expanding its internet service throughout rural Northern California and the Central Valley. Cal.net’s fixed wireless towers quickly transmit internet signals to your home and provide some of the fastest, highest quality internet service around. With internet plans starting at less than $50/month, Cal.net is a great value. Find out if our internet is available in your area and contact us today.