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FCC Launches $14.2B Broadband Program for Low-Income Families

The Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program provides a $30 credit to low-income households for Internet services and replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Broadband connection
(TNS) — A new program will provide low-income families with subsidies to help cover the cost of Internet service as well as provide money for devices such as laptops and tablets.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program offers $30 per month towards Internet services through a qualified provider. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from a participating provider if they contribute at least $10 or less than $50 towards the purchase.

The program is the $14.2 billion successor to the Emergency Broadband Benefit that provided a subsidy of up to $50 a month for Internet services. That program, which ended Dec. 31, provided services to 9 million families.

“The response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit proved what many knew to be true: the cost of high-speed Internet is out of reach for too many of us,” said FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “Now with the long-term Affordable Connectivity Program, we have the opportunity to enroll even more households and help ensure they can afford the Internet connections they need for work, school, health care and more for years.”

To be eligible, families must:

  • Have income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines;
  • Participate in assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
  • Participate in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • Be 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, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
  • Have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

You can find more information on the program here.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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