Do You Need Help with Your Internet Expenses?

The US Government is helping households during the pandemic by providing up to $50/month to help with the costs of broadband Internet connection through the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program.

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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Learn more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Many people are struggling at the moment, with COVID illness and economic challenges. Your Internet connection is a vital lifeline – to physicians and medical help, remote working, education providers and home delivery services.

If you are having a difficult time paying for your Internet service, then a new federal program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit might help you.
 

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that will provide a temporary discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband Internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands.

The program is expected to launch on May 12. Note – not all Internet service providers have joined yet, but you can find one servicing your address on this page.


Who is eligible for the EBB program?

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives 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 in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Will I get $50 in my bank account?
No. The way the provision works is that customers of a broadband service will receive a credit of $50 per month with their service provider. This is a fair and simple way to provide assistance to each qualified household. Note that many different service providers are participating in the program, including those offering landline and wireless broadband – you may find that there are several in your location. You can also find a participating Internet provider in the EBB program by entering your address on this page.

The assistance is provided per household, not per individual. So an apartment or residential property would receive one $50 discount payment, even if there were several people using the Internet connection.

This program is available to new, existing, and prior customers of each broadband service. Even if you have a debit balance with the service provider you will be eligible.

How long will the program last?
Currently the program is planned to last until the $3.2B in Federal funding for this program runs out. However, as with many issues related to the pandemic, this is uncertain. The government may decide to extend the program. This is all the information we have at present.

Which broadband Internet providers are participating in the EBB program?
You can find a comprehensive list of all participating providers on the FCC website. Below are some of the broadband Internet providers participating in the progam and direct links to their EBB page:

Comcast/Xfinity
Charter/Spectrum
Cox
Optimum
Suddenlink
Mediacom
Sparklight
Atlantic Broadband
GCI
Fidelity Communications
Armstrong
MCTV

How will I know the assistance is ending?
Your participating provider must give you notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill, in addition to information about the cost of your broadband service after the program ends.


What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?

Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click "Do I Qualify?").

I already receive Lifeline benefits - will I automatically receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
No, you need to apply to claim this benefit from your existing broadband service provider or sign up with a new one and claim. It is not automatically dispensed.

My Household's children receive free school breakfast and lunch - do we qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Yes, you do, but you will have to apply to your Internet service provider as detailed above.

Can I receive other benefits as well?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a separate program, and any other benefits you may receive are not affected by it.

I live in a multi-dweller residence (such as an apartment building). We do not subscribe individually to the internet, it is provided as a service by the building. Are we eligible?
Yes, you probably are. However, the residents will have to discuss this with the landlord or apartment manager, as they will need to apply to the broadband provider as they are the customer of the internet service.

I have a disability - am I eligible?
Yes, the program is designed to help people with disabilities. If you have an issue, please contact the FCC's Disability Rights office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.

What is the enhanced benefit amount for residents of Tribal Lands?
Eligible households on Tribal lands can receive a total monthly discount of up to $75. You do not have to be a member of a tribe, simply living on tribal lands. You can find out more about which areas are eligible Tribal lands by visiting this site.

EBB Options Available from the Major Cable Providers

Provider Provider Options
Take advantage of Xfinity’s fast, reliable Internet. Learn More
Spectrum offers fast Internet speeds with no data caps. Learn More
Explore flexible Internet packages from COX to get the speed you need. Learn More
Optimum gives you access to the most advanced WiFi technology. Learn More
Get Internet speeds up to 1 Gig in most areas with Suddenlink. Learn More
Stay connected with Xtream’s fiber-rich network. Learn More
Sparklight lets you access fast Internet speeds with GigaONE. Learn More
Choose only the Internet speed you need at a great price with Atlantic Broadband. Learn More
Get more high-speed data across Alaska with GCI. Learn More
Fidelity offers great Internet service to customers in AR, LA, MO, OK & TX. Learn More
Enjoy a better Internet experience with Zoom’s advanced security features. Learn More
Connect your whole home with MCTV’s strong wireless signals. Learn More
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