News Flash

Home - City Spotlights

Posted on: May 10, 2021

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

- This information is being shared on behalf of the FCC - 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will launch on May 12, 2021. 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.

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 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 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.

The list of Virginia's participating broadband providers can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers#Virginia 

Eligible households can sign up for the program directly through their broadband provider or online. For more information and to sign up, visit the program website - https://getemergencybroadband.org/