Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Free Internet for qualifying US residents

 

The US government launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit last week, a $3.2 billion pot of money to help all eligible US residents access available internet services, regardless of ability to pay.

 

What is the benefit? 

·      Up to $50/month on broadband service for eligible households.

·      Up to $75/month on broadband service for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

·      Up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet for eligible households (you need to contribute $10-50 toward the purchase price).

·      Only one monthly benefit and one device purchase benefit per household.

 

Who qualifies?  To be “eligible”, a household needs to meet one of these criteria: 

·      Income less than or equal to 135% of federal poverty guidelines.

·      Participates in certain assistance programs (SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline).

·      Approved to participate in free school lunch or breakfast program in 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.

·      Received federal Pell grant during current award year.

·      Experienced substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb 29, 2020, and total 2020 income was below $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers.

·      Meets eligibility requirements for participating broadband provider’s existing low-income or Covid-19 program.

 

How does an “eligible household” apply?  I’ve read it’s time-consuming and complicated, so be patient and persistent.

·      Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly.

·      Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and find participating broadband providers near you.

·      Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application.

 

Read more here, here, here, here and here.

 

I recognize that this blog post may not apply to all of our readers.  Please forward it on to anyone you know that might qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. 

 

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