Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to Launch May 12, 2021

The Federal Communications Commission has announced May 12, 2021 as the start date for providers participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to begin enrolling eligible households. The EBB Program provides eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. A one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet is also included.

Eligible households include those where at least one member of the household: (1) qualifies for the FCC’s Lifeline program, including Medicaid or SNAP recipients; (2) is approved for the free or reduced lunch program; (3) experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, with a total household income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; (4) received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or (5) qualifies for a provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 relief program, subject to FCC approval.

As a reminder, Eligible Telecommunications Carriers may elect to participate in the EBB Program through the Universal Administrative Company’s (USAC) website. Non-ETCs must first seek approval from the FCC to participate in the program before filing their election notices.

The FCC maintains an updated list of participating providers in each state. Providers may not enroll customers in the EBB Program until the provider’s election notice is fully processed.

For more information about EBB Program provider obligations, or the EBB Program in general, please contact any attorney in our office.