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July 15, 2021 | Devin Cook

Emergency Broadband Benefit: Save Money on Digital Needs

Did you know that the Federal Communications Commission has created a new program to help bring internet and digital devices to homes across the nation?

If you qualify for any government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline, you may qualify for up to $50 off monthly internet service, or $100 off a laptop or tablet! “To help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic”, the FCC has created the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

The FCC lists the following criteria to qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. A household is eligible if a member of the household meets 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 Lifeline;
  • 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 due to 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.

There are three ways to apply!

  1. Contact a participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process. If you are unable to apply through them directly, you will have to apply using option 2 or 3 below, and then contact a participating provider to select an eligible plan.
  2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you. You will be sent here, to the Lifeline National Verifier to verify you are eligible. After you apply, you will have to contact a participating provider to select an eligible plan.
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application or print a copy, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742

To find out which documents you will need copies or scans of click here.

After you received a notice that you have qualified for the program, households must contact a participating provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.

If you have any questions, we will try to answer them! To apply online, you may need a valid email address and a copy of your proof of eligibility, such as a SNAP card or Medicaid card. We can scan a copy and assist you in uploading any documents you may need to apply!

For more information, visit the Emergency Broadband Benefit website here.

For questions on how we can assist you in applying on our public computers, call 270-442-2510 ext. 119 or email us at [email protected]!

With your library card, you can place a hold on one of our Mobile Hotspots, Digital Tool Boxes, or KDLA sponsored Skill Building Kits–but the waitlist is quite long. That’s why we’re spreading the word on this FCC program!