Temporary help from the federal government is on the way that will cover some of the costs of high-speed internet for qualifying low-income households.
The Federal Communications Commission Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can provide eligible households with up to $50/month for broadband service and associated equipment rental and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop or desktop computer or a tablet.
Residents can begin applying for and enrolling in the benefits on Wednesday.
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. At least one person within the household must meet any of the following criteria:
- Participates in the Lifeline Program
- Approved to receive benefits under the free or reduced-price school meal program
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program
The program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.