The FCC announced the Emergency Broadband Benefit at the end of April 2021. Enrollment opened on May 12, and within less than a month, more than 2 million households were already participating. And within a month, around a million signs are collected and submitted for applying for the emergency service and subsidy.
- 1 What is the Benefit Of Emergency Broadband Service?
- 2 Step By Step Guide To Apply For The EBB
- 3 How Many Funds Are Available and How Long It Will Last?
- 4 Conclusion:
What is the Benefit Of Emergency Broadband Service?
The EBB is an FCC program designed to make internet access more affordable during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As millions were required to attend work and school remotely, a great deal of attention was brought to the fact that necessary broadband was not affordable to many Americans.
The EBB aims to confront this by making broadband Internet more affordable for many by $50.As of June 7, a bit less than a month, after enrollment opened, 2.31 million Americans have signed up for the subsidy.
Approximately 1.5 million enrolled within the first two weeks. The remaining 800,000 enrolled in the past two weeks, according to FCC data. At this rate, the EBB program would be able to continue functioning as currently configured for a period of no less than 24 months.
Step By Step Guide To Apply For The EBB
For the subsidy application, you first have to check the criteria and then fill out the online registration form to apply for the EBB.
Here is the step-by-step guide which you need to follow to apply for the EBB.
Step1: Households Eligibility Criteria For The EBB
The EBB provides up to $50 a month for most eligible households. It provides up to $75 a month for eligible households on qualified Tribal Lands. It also allows for $100 to purchase specific equipment through a provider, such as laptops or tablets.
There are a number of factors that can determine eligibility. The first is being at or below the 135 percent of the applicable Federal Poverty Guideline. Households are also eligible if they participate in Lifeline, Medicaid, Snap, or a school breakfast or lunch program.
In addition, anyone who receives a Federal Pell Grant is eligible. You may also receive special eligibility to qualify for the broadband subsidy. If you can show that you suffered significant income loss due to being laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic.
Step2: The Procedure To Enroll In The EBB
You generally do not enroll in the EBB directly through the EBB program but a participating Internet Service Provider. Participation is not mandatory. Most ISPs have opted in, but there is the potential that the sole ISP in your area makes you ineligible.
Your participating ISP will help you select the EBB plan most appropriate for you. If you already have service, the benefit may simply be deducted from your existing bill going forward, and the amount you pay can be $0. If for some reason, your ISP cannot enroll you directly, you may have to register by mail for a subsidy, phone, or the EBB website.
Step3: Internet Service Provider Participation
For practical reasons, the FCC has given participating ISPs a great deal of control. The average eligible consumer will not be affected, and many consumers have called their ISPs and had they are service charge reduced by up to $50 in just minutes.
Internet service providers like Dish Network do have the right to limit the EBB to certain plans. This has created problems with some customers, such as with Verizon, where the ISP has used the EBB as an opportunity to close out grandfathered plans and upsell clients to programs that will cost more later.
How Many Funds Are Available and How Long It Will Last?
The EBB is currently a temporary program that has $3.2 billion in resources. It is expected to end when the funds run dry or six months after when the U.S. declares COVID-19 no longer a public health emergency.
There is the potential that the EBB could receive additional funds and that it could be extended. Some politicians who see the affordability gap as just as much a problem as the availability gap would like to see the EBB or a similar subsidy program become permanent.
Almost 1,000 broadband service providers are taking part in it. Within one month, 33.4 million households are eligible for the EBB. In addition, consumers can get an almost $100 discount for their first purchase of the device. For the participants, this is undoubtedly the most profitable deal. Are you taking part in it? Do not forget to share your opinion in the comment section.