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Making Broadband More Accessible and Affordable

October 11, 2021

From the Office for Social Ministry

One of the main lessons learned from this current pandemic is just how critically important it is for society to have easy access to phones, computers, mobile devices, and especially the internet. From elementary school kids to college students, and even kupuna, all age groups seem to rely on broadband connections for online learning, virtual meetings, and telehealth conferences. But not everyone may be able to afford these essential services.

To close the digital divide, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 in hopes of making internet service more accessible and affordable for struggling households impacted by COVID-19. Lawmakers set aside $3.2 billion for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, saving eligible households up to $50 a month and those on tribal lands (including Hawaiian homelands) up to $75 a month on web access. Qualifying candidates may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers.

You may be eligible to apply for these benefits if at least one member of your household:

  • qualifies as an FCC Lifeline program participant
  • qualifies for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits
  • receives free or reduced school meals
  • filed for unemployment or PUA or experienced a loss of work hours in the last year
  • received a Federal Pell Grant in the last year
  • qualifies for low-income COVID-19 programs

To apply, contact your internet service provider directly to learn about their application process and the benefits being offered. You may also apply online at www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org or call (833) 511-0311 for a mail-in application that should be sent to:

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

For more information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and how to apply, visit the state’s DBEDT website.