Important Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Updates
Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new long-term, $14 billion program, to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This investment in broadband affordability will help ensure we can afford the connections we need for work, school, health care and more for a long time.
Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of 12/31/21 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during a 60-day transition period.
- The maximum monthly benefit will change from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
- Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Households that qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income as a result of a job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's COVID-19 program, will need to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. These households will receive additional details about the steps they need to take from the program administrator (USAC) or their internet service provider, in January 2022, and will be given at least 30 days to respond. They will continue to receive their full Emergency Broadband Benefit until March 1, 2022.
Most Emergency Broadband Benefit households will not have to take any action to continue receiving the new $30 monthly benefit after the transition period ends on March 1, 2022. If your out-of-pocket costs will increase as a result of the reduced monthly benefit amount, your service provider will contact you to let you know if you need to take any additional steps in order to continue receiving the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.
Households located on qualifying Tribal lands will continue to receive a $75 monthly benefit and will not need to take any action to continue receiving the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.
After the transition period ends on March 1, 2022, the monthly discount for all legacy EBB participants not located on qualifying Tribal lands will be reduced to $30. Contact your provider If you are concerned about a possible increase in your monthly service bill or are interested in changing to a different service plan.
Have questions about the transition from the Emergency Broadband Benefit to the Affordable Connectivity Program? Check out the Emergency Broadband Benefit FAQ for more information.
About the Emergency Broadband Benefit
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards 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 is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
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% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or 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, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 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 February 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; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Emergency Broadband Benefit recipients can transfer their monthly benefit to a new participating service provider at any time. To move your benefit to a different provider, simply contact the new provider and ask that they transfer your benefit. You do not need to cancel the benefit, or your service, with your current benefit provider before requesting the transfer.
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Which Broadband Providers Are Participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Various broadband providers, including those offering landline and wireless broadband, are participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Find broadband service providers offering the Emergency Broadband Benefit in your state or territory.