FCC Announces New Program Offering Internet Discount to Struggling Students and Families

Posted on 5/5/21 4:18 PM

Student sitting at a table working on a laptopOn May 4, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission announced its new Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The program will offer internet discounts to students and families who have been struggling to get online throughout the pandemic. Students who received Federal Pell Grants have been identified as an eligible population. You can see the full eligibility list below.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will open enrollment on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll online.

Am I Eligible?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide:

  • A discount of up to $50 per month for broadband services purchased by eligible households and up to $75 per month for households located on Tribal lands. Limited to one service discount per household.
  • A one-time maximum discount of $100 for purchase of a desk, laptop, or tablet computer from participating providers; however, consumers must contribute $10-$50 toward the actual purchase price. Limited to one device discount per household.

Benefits of the Program

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Has been 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 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to 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; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Please note that if you plan to apply to the program because you received a Federal Pell Grant or due to substantial loss of income due to the pandemic, you'll need to have documents that establish your eligibility to enroll.

How to Apply

Applications will become available on May 12, 2021. You can apply online.