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Emergency program offers lower-cost broadband for area families

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(WAOW) – Enrollment is open for a new program that could offer temporary relief to those struggling to afford broadband services.

Dubbed the Emergency Broadband Benefit, the program can help lower the cost of services for eligible households during the coronavirus pandemic, saving them up to $50 per month.

Here’s who qualifies:

  • Households with an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
  • Households that participate in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Those who are approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program in certain years;
  • Those who have received a Pell Grant this year;
  • Households that have experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020, with a total 2020 income of less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Households that qualify can enroll through participating providers, or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Co. using an online or mail-in application.

For more information, go to www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit or call 833-511-0311.

Sirena Mankins

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