Federal Communications Commission launches the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a new Emergency Broadband Benefit program. This temporary benefit program will lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.


The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households. The benefit also provides a discount up to $100 per household  toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes $10 to $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;
    •    Is 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;
    •    Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
    •    Has 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.
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. The State of Missouri has established a landing page for outreach groups and citizens to quickly find more information about the program and contact information for participating providers.