Many families have had to make tough financial decisions due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some families falling behind on electricity and water bills and in some cases paying their internet providers.
The Federal Communications Commission, however, is trying to help people stay connected. The FCC Broadband Emergency Benefit will give you up to $ 50 per month for broadband service, and up to $ 75 per month for tribal land dwellers. Some families may also benefit from a $ 100 credit for a computer or tablet.
It’s been over a month since the program was launched, but with $ 3.2 billion set aside, they still have a lot of money to give. Based on online claims tracking, only $ 34.6 million has been paid to U.S. households so far.
“If you think you qualify, you should apply immediately,” Adriana Mendoza, head of government affairs at Cox Communications, told us in May. “Funding is available on a first come, first served basis.”
The FCC said it had pending requests that it was still processing, but did not say how many. So the money might not last longer.
“It could be a month or it could be six months,” Mendoza said. “It really depends on when the funding runs out.”
To be eligible, your household must meet a of the following requirements:
- Household income equal to or less than 135% of federal poverty guidelines
- Be approved for free and discounted school lunch or breakfast programs
- Received a Federal Pell Grant for this current year
- Has suffered a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020
- Meet the eligibility criteria for existing programs from a broadband service provider or COVID-19 for low income individuals
“You must be someone who may have been hit with unemployment or time off due to the pandemic,” Mendoza said of Cox’s policy. “Also, if you are part of government programs like social security insurance, SNAP, housing. There is a whole list of programs. If you qualify, you will probably get this reduction.”
To apply for the program, visit the website of an ISP that works with the FCC or visit the program’s website to apply. Or you can call 833-511-0311 to request a request by mail. A list of participating suppliers is available here.
Although over $ 3 billion has been set aside for the program, you should apply quickly.
“$ Three point two billion sounds like a lot, but once you break it down it will go quickly,” Mendoza said. “Don’t think too long. Jump on it, act on it and apply.”
Cox clients can learn how to apply here. Spectrum and Charter customers can learn how to apply here.