Broward County, Florida (May 24, 2021) – The Broward League of Cities is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, we learned just how important it is for households to have access to affordable broadband services,” said Commissioner Gary Resnick, Chair of the Broward League of Cities’ Legislative Committee and former Chair of the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. “The hope is that this program will provide some relief to families that are struggling to afford broadband services for virtual learning and work from home capabilities.”
The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
- 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 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income through 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.
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment began on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
ABOUT THE BROWARD LEAGUE OF CITIES:
Chartered in 1957, the Broward League of Cities is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and resolving issues facing Broward County’s 31 cities and municipalities. A member of the Florida League of Cities, which serves to unify local governments throughout the state of Florida, the organization’s membership is made up of elected officials from municipal governments and area businesses. The organization is committed to increasing awareness and providing resolution to issues that affect day-to-day operations of local government, including legislation at the county, state and federal levels.