TALLAHASSEE — Starting May 12, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission opened enrollment to the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.
The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household.
A household is eligible if one member meets at least 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 the Lifeline program;
• 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;
• Experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
• Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or
• Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application. Additional information is available at FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit link, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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