Hello Locast Nation,
The pandemic made it clear that home broadband is critical in connecting every American to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more, including access to local broadcast TV via Locast.
We have teamed up with EducationSuperHighway, the national non-profit focused on closing the digital divide in America’s most unconnected communities, to tell you about a new government program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households (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 benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Are you eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if it has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR any member of the household:
- Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
- Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs GeneralAssistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Received approval for 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; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household residing at the same address.