In the first week of the Emergency Broadband Benefit more than one million people registered. It provides financial assistance with internet costs and related equipment.

It will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband 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 Emergency Broadband Benefit program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

“The high demand we’ve seen for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program demonstrates what many of us already knew to be true – too many families are struggling to get online, even in 2021. Help is here. As an agency, we’re continuing to focus our efforts on reaching as many communities as possible, so they can get the support they need,” acting chairwoman of the FCC Jessica Rosenworcel said.

ELIGIBILITY

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

•Has an income that is at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or Lifeline.

Why this matters

Many in Texas County qualify for the program that helps pay for internet service and equipment.

•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.

•Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.

•Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

•Some who qualify, but are dependent of others in the home, may not qualify.

HOW TO ENROLL

Eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.