Congressman Jacobs announces FCC program aimed at lowering internet costs

National

(WIVB) — Congressman Chris Jacobs announced an FCC program designed to lower internet costs for customers nationwide on Monday.

According to Jacobs, the Emergency Broadband Benefit will begin accepting applications on Wednesday.

“Internet service has become even more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. As our economy continues to recover and Americans recover from financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, this program will allow them to continue, or access, internet services at a discounted rate through the end of the pandemic,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs also says the $3.2 billion program is said to provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program will also provide up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 or less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider. 

Jacobs office says a household must meet at least one of the below criteria to be eligible:

  • 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
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program

Eligible households can enroll through a broadband provider or directly through the USAC using an online or mail-in application.

For additional information on the program, click here or call 833-511-0311.

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