The Emergency Broadband Benefit

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program aimed at helping households struggling to pay for internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible households can receive a discount of up to $50 per month for home internet -- or up to $75 monthly for those living on tribal lands. They also can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 on the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10 to $50 toward the purchase price. Note the limits of one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Source: FCC.gov

When will EBB be available and how long will it last?

The FCC will launch the program on May 12, 2021. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will last until funding runs out or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency. The Universal Service Administrative Company, which is managing the program, will provide a tracker with reports on remaining funds. We recommend signing up as soon as possible once EBB begins.

How do you get it?

There are a few options to apply. Read below or check out this info sheet from the FCC.

  • Option 1: Apply with an Internet Service Provider
    Contact a service provider, which will help the individual or household apply in person using the National Verifier service provider portal.
  • Option 2: Apply Online
    Visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org to see if you qualify, complete the electronic application, and find a provider near you. 
  • Option 3: Apply by mail
    Fill out and sign the National Verifier EBB application form. The consumer then mails the National Verifier form and other supporting documents to the Emergency Broadband Support Center.

Please Note: Service providers may assist consumers with the paper application and mail it on their behalf.

Source: Universal Service Administrative Company

Who is eligible?

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and had a total household income in 2020 of less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for those filing jointly.
  • for the FCC’s Lifeline program for low-income consumers.
  • Participates in a Lifeline-qualifying program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, etc.
  • Has a household income at or beneath 135% of the federal poverty level.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Source: FCC.gov/Universal Service Administrative Company

Which broadband providers are participating in Kansas City?

Locally, AT&T, Charter/Spectrum, Cricket Wireless, Comcast, PCs for People, T-Mobile, and Verizon have confirmed they will participate and offer reduced prices for those that qualify. 

For a full list of Missouri and Kansas providers, click here

Questions?

Call our Tech Access Help Line at 816-701-3606. We will do our best to find answers to your questions and help you navigate this process.