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What Is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

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The emergency broadband benefit (EBB) is a program to help families struggling to afford internet providers services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Families can sign up to receive the monthly benefit, and FCC promised to offer the assistance until six months after the pandemic is declared over or when funds run out. Below is an overview of the EBB program and its benefits.

What Internet Providers Services Does EBB Cover?

The emergency broadband benefit program offers monthly assistance for broadband internet service and one-time discounts on laptops, desktops, and tablets. Families can receive the benefit and device discount once per month as illustrated below:

•    A maximum of $50 per month for broadband internet service

•    Up to $75 per month for broadband internet service on qualifying tribal lands

•    A maximum one-time discount of $100 for laptop, desktop, and tablet purchases

EBB program concluded on 31st December 2021, after which new applications won't be possible, except for those joining the ACP program. Members currently enrolled for the benefits will get a 60-day transition period, during which they’ll receive the monthly benefits.

Who Can Receive Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

The emergency broadband benefit program targets families struggling with paying internet connectivity bills in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. A household is eligible for the benefits if they meet specific conditions shown below:

•    Has a family income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

•    Participates in specific assistance programs like Lifeline, Medicaid and SNAP, FPHA, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, SSI, and some tribal programs

•    Is approved to receive benefits under school breakfast program, free school lunch, or reduced-price school lunch program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Program

•    Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the year the EBB is awarded

•    Experienced a significant loss of income due to job loss since February 2020

•    Has a total income of below $99,000 (for single applicants) or $198,000 (for joint applicants) in 2020

•    Meets the eligibility requirements for a participating provider’s program for low-income or Covid-19 relief

Not everyone who qualifies for the EBB program should sign up. Households participating in Lifeline may opt-in with their current carriers or find another provider with qualifying plans. Families participating in their provider's low-income or Covid-19 program also don't need to apply again.

How to Get the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

To get the emergency broadband benefits, you must enroll in the program, and FCC provides various methods for signing up. Some providers feature additional applications they might need you to complete. Here are the steps for signing up for EBB benefits:

•    Visit and complete the online application form or print out a mail-in application form

•    Call or use online chat to communicate with your broadband internet provider and inquire about the EBB application

•    Use the official EBB program tool to find participating providers near your area and contact them to inquire how to join

Completing the form online offers a convenient way to submit EBB applications. Fillers can also print out the form, complete it manually and mail the application to Emergency Broadband Support Center. If you contact your preferred participating provider, they'll apply the discount to your bills.

What Do I Need to Apply for EBB Program Benefits?

Applicants must prove eligibility to qualify for the emergency broadband benefit discounts. The system will automatically attempt to qualify applicants by confirming personal information submitted on the form. If the program fails to obtain sufficient information, the applicant will provide the necessary documentation to verify their details.

You may have to provide the previous year's tax returns, child support, paycheck stubs, and social security number. Applicants enrolled in Medicaid, FHPA (Federal Public Housing Assistance), SSI (Supplemental Security Income), and other programs also need official documentation for the same. You can visit USAC for more info about what's required to prove eligibility.

Which Internet Providers Participate in the EBB Program?

Many providers participate in the emergency broadband benefit program, and the FCC provides a lengthy list of all participants. Providers vary from state to state, and some provide fixed (landline) internet, mobile (wireless) internet, or both. Applicants should check the chart from FCC to identify local providers participating in the program.

You can ask your current provider about their low-income and Covid-19 programs or look for a new carrier with better plans and services. 900+ providers are participating according to FCC's chart, and the program's total funding was $3.136 million. Some providers don’t offer device discounts, so applicants should review each offer before signing up for the EBB program.

Key Takeaways about the EBB and ACP Program

The EBB program will end on the last day of 2021. Households currently receiving the benefits will have 60 days within which they'll continue to enjoy monthly benefits as the EBB transitions to the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Those who qualify for EBB can submit applications before 31st December to receive assistance during the 60-day transition period.

You may apply for the ACP benefits if at least one person in the household qualifies for the Lifeline Program. Other qualifying applicants include those who receive the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Pell Grant, SNAP, and WIC assistance. Like EBB, ACP targets families dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The difference between emergency broadband benefit and affordable connectivity program is ACP offers reduced benefits and has steeper eligibility requirements. Qualifying household income limit increases from 135% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Loss of income in 2020 also no longer qualifies a household for the ACP benefits.

ACP will provide up to $30 per month to cover household internet bills. Families on qualifying tribal lands will receive up to $75 under the new ACP program. Like EBB, the ACP program doesn't provide funds accessible to the applicant. The program offers discounts on internet services, and participating providers make the deductions from monthly bills.

Trustworthy Internet Service Providers for EBB and ACP

If you meet the eligibility requirements for receiving EBB and ACP discounts, you can sign up to start getting the much-needed assistance. Hundreds of thousands of households have already joined the program and receive monthly discounts. All you need is to subscribe to internet services from a participating provider.

Teleful Connect is a leading provider with solutions for your home internet, cable, and security needs. You can leverage the low-income and Covid-19 relief benefits to continue enjoying high-speed internet while saving more on the bills. We also have provider deals and affordable prices.