Federal Program Could Save You $50 on Your Internet Bill

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Starting next week, you may be able to get $50 per month off your internet bill.

As part of a pandemic relief program, eligible U.S. households can enroll to receive a discount on broadband service beginning May 12, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced last week. Those approved will receive a so-called Broadband Emergency Benefit of up to $50 a month for broadband service (or up to $75 a month on tribal lands), while some people will also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet.

The funds come from $3.2 billion set aside in the second federal relief package last December to help Americans pay for internet service during the pandemic. The program will continue until the money runs out or six months after the Department of Health declares an end to the pandemic, the FCC said.

You qualify for the benefit if one of the following applies to you:

  • You participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider.
  • You qualify for the FCC’s Lifeline program, which provides a discount to low-income consumers on monthly telephone service, broadband Internet service, or bundled voice-broadband packages.
  • You receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • You received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • You experienced “a substantial loss of income” since the end of February 2020 and your household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.

You can apply through one of more than 800 internet and mobile providers that have signed on to the program—including AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, T-Mobile, and Verizon—or by visiting getemergencybroadband.org. If you qualify, you’ll have the applicable amount deducted from your bill each month.

Article Sources

  1. Federal Communications Commission. “FCC ANNOUNCES START DATE OF EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT PROGRAM EBB enrollment will open on May 12, 2021.”

  2. Federal Communications Commission. “Consumer FAQ for Emergency Broadband Benefit.”

  3. Federal Communications Commission. “Emergency Broadband Benefit Providers.”