Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new long-term, $14 billion program, which will replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This investment in broadband affordability will help ensure we can afford the connections we need for work, school, health care and more for a long time.
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.
Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of 12/31/21 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during a 60-day transition period. But there are changes coming:
- The maximum monthly benefit will change from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
- Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Households that qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s COVID-19 program will need to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. The FCC is seeking comment on the changes enacted in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will be adopting rules for the Affordable Connectivity Program.