IowaLegalAid.orgIowa

High Speed Internet Benefit

Information

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program.  This temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of internet service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumers should be aware, however, that some internet service providers (ISPs) have tried to take advantage of this program. There have been reports of some ISPs using the EBB program to push customers into a new (more expensive) data plan. The EBB benefit does not require customers to enter into a new agreement. It is important to keep in mind that if you do upgrade your plan, you may be responsible for higher monthly fees when the EBB program expires.  If you have any questions regarding the enrollment process, please call the EBB help line at 833-511-0311.


The 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.


A household is eligible if any (does not have to be all) 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.

Enrollment is now open.  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.

 

Last Review and Update: Jun 04, 2021