The FCC voted unanimously last week to adopt the Report and Order
to establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. The EBB Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households.
“Broadband remains the key ingredient to staying strong, and staying connected as COVID-19’s economic toll continues to impact families, students and small businesses. In adopting the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, the FCC took a smart and important step to extend the program to smaller, community-based competitive ISPs who can help connect families and schools to benefits at a faster rate," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "INCOMPAS advocated for this key change to make the EBB a level playing field with equal opportunity for smaller companies to be part of the COVID recovery solutions.”
Under the law, the EBB Program will be open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.
Now adopted, the program will be available within 60 days with an ongoing process to sign up providers that are interested. We will continue to keep you posted on any other further updates on the program’s rules once they’re made available to the public.
For providers that are interested in participating, USAC will host an introductory webinar
on Tuesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET to provide an overview of Lifeline and the EBB Program. The webinar will include a review of USAC Lifeline systems used to check eligibility, enroll consumers, and claim reimbursement, as USAC prepares to make those systems available for the new program.