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Jacobs announces FCC program to lower broadband costs for customers

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Tue, May 11th 2021 12:40 pm

Congressman Chris Jacobs recently announced a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program designed to lower internet service costs for customers nationwide. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will begin accepting applications on May 12.

“Internet service has become even more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jacobs said. “As our economy continues to recover and Americans recover from financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, this program will allow them to continue, or access, internet services at a discounted rate through the end of the pandemic. I commend the FCC for implementing this program, and I will continue my work in Congress to expand broadband access for rural communities.”

The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $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.

A household is eligible if one member of the household 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 FCC’s 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 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year;

√ Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

√ Experienced a substantial loss of income through 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.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will open for applications on May 12. 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 about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311.

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