Update – FCC Offers $30 Off Monthly Internet Bill, See Who Qualifies
The program has been extended and it is now called the Affordable Connectivity Program. This is a FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. 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 Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Emergency Broadband Benefit recipients fully enrolled as of December 31, 2021 will automatically continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. You can learn more about the program transition and steps you may need to take to stay enrolled after March 1st, by visiting fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
- Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Participates in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program.
May 12, 2021 – FCC $50 Internet Discount
Starting today, eligible Americans can start taking advantage of a new government subsidy that will offset the cost of internet at home. With the ongoing pandemic, broadband connection at home has become more vital than ever, but it is not always affordable. The Federal Communications Commission wants to help with a new subsidy program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
On May 12, 2021, eligible households can enroll in the Program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll for this FCC $50 internet discount through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.
How it Works
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
There are three ways for eligible households to apply for this FCC $50 internet discount:
- Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
- Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
After receiving an eligibility determination, households can contact their preferred service provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.
There are several ways to qualify. The first is income-based. A household is eligible if it has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The income requirements vary based on the number of people in the household and even your state, since the poverty line is higher in Alaska and Hawaii.
Here are the income requirements for the Emergency Broadband Benefit:
|Number of people in household||48 contiguous states, DC and territories||Alaska||Hawaii|
|For each additional person, add:||$6,129||$7,668||$7,047|
But even if you make more than what is listed above, you could still qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Anyone who experienced a “substantial loss of income” after February 29, 2020 qualifies for this FCC $50 internet discount as long as their 2020 income was at or below $99,000 for a single filer or $198,000 for joint filers.
Additionally, you qualify if a member of your household:
- 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;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligibility also extends to any household participating in one of a number of tribal-specific assistance programs, including Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start and Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
FCC $50 Internet Discount: Guru’s Wrap-up
This program should be a big help for those families that need it most. With many children attending school remotely and parents working from home, having a reliable internet connection is now a necessity. The good thing about this program is that you can get the discount even if you owe your phone or cable company money. That’s important because some people have been barred from low-cost plans offered by internet service providers when they owed their service provider money.
If you are eligible, you should be able to find a company that services your area. More than 800 cellphone and home-internet companies are participating, including the big players such as Verizon, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, T-Mobile and more.