Government-backed discounts for Internet now operational


The program will end when the money is spent or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares the federal emergency surrounding the coronavirus pandemic over. ISPs will need to notify participants of the last date of the rebate or partial rebate, when federal funds are exhausted, to facilitate a potential transition to another program.

Eligible households can also benefit from a one-time discount of up to $ 100 towards the purchase of a laptop, desktop or tablet from participating vendors if the consumer contributes $ 10. at $ 50 at the purchase price.

“This is a program that will help people at risk of digital disconnection,” Rosenworcel said. “It will help those who are sitting in cars in parking lots, just to pick up a Wi-Fi signal, to connect to work. It will help those who are worried about choosing between paying a broadband bill and paying rent,” buy drugs or buy groceries. “

Who is eligible?

• People who have suffered a substantial loss of income due to job loss or leave since February 29, 2020. A qualifying household must have a total income in 2020 equal to or less than $ 99,000 for single filers and $ 198,000 for joint filers .

• People who use the Federal Lifeline rebate program. Lifeline offers up to $ 9.25 off monthly phone or internet bills to households that are less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guideline or have at least one family member in a program public assistance such as the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or Supplementary Security Income (SSI). For a family of four to qualify based on 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, the annual income would have to be less than $ 35,775. The Tribal Link Up program offers additional discounts for those who live on Native American lands.

• People who already use the Internet at a reduced price service from a high-speed Internet service provider for low-income households. AT&T, for example, offers Internet access for $ 10 or less per month for households in which at least one person participates in the government’s supplementary nutrition assistance program. Cox offers Internet service for $ 9.95 per month for new customers with at least one K-12 student in the household who is eligible for public assistance.

• Households whose children receive free or low-cost school meals will also be eligible for the monthly rebate of up to $ 50, as will people who have lost their jobs or whose income has been reduced in the past year.

• Households living on Native American tribal lands will be eligible for a higher Internet discount of up to $ 75 per month, generally because high speed Internet in these areas is more expensive. The program will also offer a one-time rebate of up to $ 100 for the purchase of a computer or tablet for eligible individuals, provided consumers contribute $ 10 to $ 50 towards the purchase price. Those who receive the benefits of the Lifeline Tribal Link Up discount program will also be eligible for the EBB benefits.

• Students who receive student aid in the form of Federal Pell Scholarships.

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