News Flash

Marketing & Communications

Posted on: May 13, 2021

Broadband Internet Discounts Available for Low-Income Households

Low-income households may be able to receive a temporary discount of up to $50 a month on broadband internet service under the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Applications are now being accepted.

Households may also receive $100 to buy a laptop, desktop or tablet through their internet provider. Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

Eligible households can apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program either through a participating internet broadband provider, or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company.

The program is designed to provide a temporary benefit. The discounts will end when the program runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. 

The program is open to households that are eligible for SNAP, Medicaid, or qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. The program is also open to households that:

  • Have an income that is at or below 135 percent of federal poverty guidelines;
  • Have received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Have experienced a substantial loss of income due to 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
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating internet provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

More information, including links to apply and a list of participating internet providers, is available at CityofWS.org/COVID-19Resources.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a federal program administered by the Federal Communications Commission. Congress appropriated $3.2 billion for the program as part of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December.


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