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FCC EBB

Staying connected has taken on a whole new meaning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The orders to shelter in place over the past year have created a surge in our digital landscape. This transition happened quickly and caused some to be left behind as work, school, health, and social activities moved to online platforms. To make internet service more affordable, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is providing Emergency Broadband (EBB) discounts to struggling families through a temporary program which just launched this week.

The EBB will provide eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $50 towards broadband service 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.  See link for EBB details: GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

Eligible households are now able to enroll in the program and receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider.  There are 26 providers in Massachusetts offering fixed and/or mobile broadband service that voluntarily requested participation to offer the EBB to consumers and were approved by the FCC.  The list of participating providers can be found here.

You are eligible if one member of your household meets at least 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 the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • 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 through 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.

If you have questions, call the Emergency Broadband Support Center at 833-511-0311 any day of the week between 9am-9pm; or contact the Department of Telecommunication and Cable’s (DTC) Consumer Hotline at 800-392-6066 from 9am-5pm on weekdays.

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