There’s a new program that will be available on May 12, 2021, that pertains to internet services. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program means that users can get a discount for the internet services that they have, making it a bit easier to have internet in the home for everything from classes to employment. Users can begin applying on May 12 with a provider who has been approved for the program.
1. Distribution of Funds
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One of the things that you need to keep in mind about the program is that you won’t receive the funds that you’re approved for after applying. Instead, an amount will be taken off of your monthly bill so that you don’t have to make the full payment. Most families are eligible to have $50 taken off of their broadband bill each month.
The amount increases to $75 for those who live on Tribal lands. The program sends funds to the provider in time for the amount to be credited to your account. Families can receive the discount as long as there is money available for the program or for six months after the pandemic is declared over by the Department of Health and Human Services.
There are several internet service providers who will participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Many of these providers offer landline services as well as wireless services so that you don’t have to be stuck with only one option for having the internet to use in your home.
You can view the list of providers online based on where you live. Keep in mind that your specific company might not participate when the program launches but could get involved at a later time. This is why it’s important to review the companies that are involved before making a decision about connecting the internet to your home or continuing to use the company that you have.
3. Eligibility Details
There are certain criteria that families must meet in order to be approved for the program. These include receiving free or reduced lunch for children who are in school, receiving a Pell Grant during the year, or experiencing a significant loss of income since the COVID-19 pandemic started in February 2020.
4. Plan Details
It’s possible that you could upgrade the current broadband plan that you have if you’re approved for the program. Pay attention to the amount of the plan that you select with your provider as you want to choose one that offers the most broadband for your home without going over the amount that you’re approved for if at all possible.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to keep any money if you choose a plan that is lower than the allotment that you’re approved for after applying. Router and other equipment rental fees can be covered by the amount that you’re approved for if you don’t have these items in your home.
If a company provides equipment to your family and connects the equipment in your home, then the company can receive a $100 reimbursement. You would need to make monthly payments on time to the provider for this to occur. You also need to pay at least a small amount of the device fee on your own. The fee is restricted to computers and tablets and doesn’t include phones or items that could be used to only make phone calls.