The internet has become an essential factor in our daily living. Still, the challenging period we are in right now emphasized its importance for emergency situations. Affordability has been an ongoing issue regarding internet connectivity for years. Even if most broadband ISPs, like GotW3, provide low-cost internet plans to Americans, many households still cannot afford these plans.
Possessing fast internet during this challenging time to get a hold of job opportunities, healthcare services, and online classes became a problem most Americans have. The summation of Americans who cannot provide themselves internet connectivity is shocking. Does it tell something about the government’s incompetency?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is another program from the FCC which aims to support households by compensating their broadband expenses throughout the worldwide epidemic. Let’s go into the project details, qualifications, and vital information you need to know about it. The US government is exerting its efforts to supply reliable internet to every American. Sadly, many areas still lack support from the federal government to help them so that they can afford these plans.
What is inside the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?
This program will give qualified Americans up to a fifty-dollar monthly deduction for internet plans and a seventy-five-dollar monthly deduction for households located in Indian Reservations. They will also qualify for a hundred-dollar deduction limited to one transaction when buying digital devices (e.g., desktop computers, smartphones, smart notebooks). However, they will need to pay around ten to fifty dollars from the total price. These benefits from this program will be strictly restricted to only one program benefit per family. Take note that this program is temporary. It will end once the budget becomes completely exhausted.
What do I need to qualify?
If any of your household members is a Federal Pell Grant recipient, underwent a significant profit loss that caused their total income to plummet below $198,000 (joint filing) and below $99,000 (single filing), entitled to free and discounted meals, or USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) from 2019-2020, or subscribed to COVID-19 internet subsidies from ISPs, you are entitled to the EBB program.
The Lifeline program is also a massive program of the FCC. However, not every American is knowledgeable about this program. Keep on reading to know if you are eligible for this federal assistance as well.
This program is also established by the Federal Communications Commission that offers reduced-price phone plans for disadvantaged families which falls below the federal poverty guidelines of 135 percent. However, your family might also qualify for this program if one of your family members are dependent on these particular government projects:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Security Income
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
- Head Start for underprivileged households
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Benefit Programs for Indian Reservations
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) facilitates the Lifeline Program, and they also carry out the EBB program once it is finalized and ready for the public. You should visit USAC’s website to read the news and updates regarding the program.
Until when will we receive benefits from the program?
Around three billion budget from the US Treasury was allocated to assist Americans in paying for broadband plans throughout the global epidemic. Once the allocated budget is all used up, the program is considered over. However, if there is still a remaining budget even after the Department of Health and Human Services (DHH) concludes that the pandemic is finally over, you might continue to obtain the benefits a few months following the DHH’s announcement.
How the internet works during the COVID-19 pandemic
We all relied on every broadband plan before and most especially during the global outbreak. It was always a constant hurdle for businesses and houses experiencing slow to non-functional connections because of the rise in internet demand. Having to deal with internet outages while operating your business can deal you massive damage. Unfortunately, not everyone has internet backup for their business. It only shows a reliable internet connection 24 hours a day throughout the year. Visit this site satelliteforinternet.com if you need backup internet for your company.
With every internet service provider struggling to give their consumers decent connection for every household, students, workers, and mere internet users struggle in talking with their loved ones and attend classes and meetings via the internet.
Government efforts to make high-speed internet available across the United States
The homework gap across the country has been a persistent problem ever since the world started to shift digital. Unfortunately, it was always an issue, even up to this day. Even before the pandemic began, the internet is already playing a considerable part in our everyday activities. The current administration has expressed its strong interest in solving this long-time issue by coming up with these programs to help underprivileged and underserved Americans to have online access wherever they are.
The Federal Communications Commission has been doing everything to expand broadband services across the country as soon as it can. Yet, it can be a huge challenge for them due to the strong resistance from internet providers and the opposing party. The ideal infrastructure project proposed by President Biden has also included rural broadband expansion. With these, it is clear that they have been taking steps in fixing the divide that gives Americans a brighter future with decent internet in the US.
The Emergency Broadband Benefits Program will be a massive relief for people unable to provide internet services for themselves in their respective homes. If you are a recipient of those particular federal and state assistance, you will likely qualify for the EBB. Unfortunately, this program is temporary. Once we successfully won over the virus, assistance may end after a couple of months from the announcement was made. It can also end earlier if the allocated budget is already insufficient. Take time to visit USAC’s and FCC’s websites to read the latest news regarding the process and useful information once it opens to the public.