How can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The Affordable Connectivity Program replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit on December 31, 2021. Learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program by visiting fcc.gov/ACP
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
Which broadband providers are participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Various broadband providers, including those offering landline and wireless broadband, will be participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of providers. Check with the broadband providers in your area to learn about their plans for program participation and eligible service offerings. You can find a list of participating providers by state and territory on this webpage, www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers.
What is the enhanced benefit amount for residents of Tribal Lands?
Eligible households on Tribal lands can receive a total monthly discount of up to $75. You can find out more about which areas are eligible Tribal lands by visiting this site: getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/tribal-benefit.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Transition
Is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ending?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit was a temporary emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress recently replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit program with the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new longer-term program that will continue to help families and households struggling to afford internet service.
Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of December 31, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022.
Learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program by visiting: fcc.gov/ACP
- The maximum monthly benefit will change from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
- Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, such as receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Households that qualified for the Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income as a result of job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's COVID-19 program, will need to requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program. You will be contacted by the program administrator (USAC) or your provider if you need to requalify.
Will I lose internet service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ends on December 31, 2021?
No, you will not lose service on December 31. Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of December 31, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. Your provider and the program administrator (USAC) will share more information about the program transition and any steps you may need to take to continue receiving discounted service.
How can I continue to receive my Emergency Broadband Benefit discount?
You do not need to take any action to continue receiving your monthly discount in January and February. You will continue to receive your current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022.
If I qualified for Emergency Broadband Benefit due to a substantial loss of income resulting from a job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 or by meeting the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's COVID-19 program, how do I requalify for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
You will receive additional details about the steps you need to take from the program administrator (USAC) or your internet service provider in January 2022, and will be given at least 30 days to respond. If contacted, you should provide eligibility documentation so you can continue in the ACP once the transition period ends on March 1, 2022. You will continue to receive your full Emergency Broadband Benefit until March 1, 2022.
Can I keep my benefit during the transition period (from December 31- March 1) if I change service providers?
Yes, if you choose to transfer your Emergency Broadband Benefit discount to another participating internet service provider during the transition period, you can keep your Emergency Broadband Benefit until March 1, 2022.
When will my monthly benefit be reduced?
You will continue to receive your full Emergency Broadband Benefit until March 1, 2022. Households that are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program and not located on qualifying Tribal lands will see their benefit change to a maximum of $30 per month after that date.
Currently my monthly bill is covered in full by the Emergency Broadband Benefit, will the Affordable Connectivity Program cover my full monthly bill
For households not located on qualifying Tribal lands, if your monthly service bill is below $30 per month it will still be covered in full by the Affordable Connectivity Program. If your bill totals more than $30 per month you will be responsible for the difference. Contact your provider to find out if they have different plans available that may be covered in full by the new $30 benefit amount.
For households on qualifying Tribal lands, your benefit amount will remain at $75 per month under the Affordable Connectivity Program. Monthly service bills up to $75 will continue to be covered in full by the Affordable Connectivity Program benefit.
How will this impact my monthly internet bill?
If you have any questions regarding your monthly bill, including the amount of your bill, timing of changes to your bill, changes to your service plan, etc., please contact your internet service provider.
If you have additional questions about the transition to the Affordable Connectivity Program, contact ACPSupport@USAC.org or 877-384-2575.
Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- 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
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Can I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I have a past due balance with the provider?
Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.
Can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?
Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing customers of participating providers.
Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses. Learn more and find a household worksheet at getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/what-is-a-household
What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?
Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click "Do I Qualify?").
If I already receive Lifeline benefits will I automatically receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
No. You must opt-in with your existing provider or request enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program with a participating broadband provider and chose an eligible service plan. You can choose to receive the benefit from your current Lifeline service provider or another participating provider.
Can I receive both the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Lifeline benefits at the same time?
Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Everyone at my child's school receives breakfast and lunch at no cost. Do we qualify?
If a school is offering lunch or breakfast free to all students regardless of income based on a program other than the Community Eligibility Provision, such as through COVID-19 waivers extending the Seamless Summer Option or Summer Food Service Program, then the household would not be eligible through the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program by virtue of an extension of the SSO or SFSP. Households may still enroll in the EBB Program if their school also participates in the Community Eligibility Provision, or the household separately applied for and has been approved for benefits in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program in 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022, or through other bases of eligibility, such as income or participation in SNAP or Medicaid.
I live in a multi-unit dwelling (for example, an apartment building) and we pay the property manager/landlord a monthly fee for our Internet. Can I get the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Yes. If you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, talk to your property manager/landlord and ask that they work with their broadband service provider to learn more about the benefits that might be available to you and other eligible residents.
I participated in a provider's COVID-19 program in the Spring of 2020, but I am no longer enrolled in that program. Does my past participation in that program qualify me for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Check with the provider for more information about whether you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Will I be able to use the service and the device if I have a disability?
The services and devices will be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. If you have any concerns about whether your broadband service and equipment is accessible, contact the FCC's Disability Rights office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.
How To Apply
How can I apply?
Two-Steps to Enroll
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.
- Contact your preferred participating provider to select an eligible plan and have the discount applied to your bill.
Some providers may have an alternative application they will ask you to complete.
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.
Can I apply directly with a provider?
Some participating providers have received approval from the FCC to use an alternative verification process and will be able to approve and enroll eligible households directly. Contact your preferred provider directly to learn about their application process.
Do I need to contact my preferred provider after my application is approved?
Yes, if you applied online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org or by mail and have been approved, you need to contact your preferred service provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan. If you want to apply the EBB discount to service with your current broadband provider you will need to contact your provider after your application is approved.
If I submit an application by mail how will I know if I was approved and when can I contact a provider to start receiving the benefit?
If you submit an application to the Emergency Broadband Support Center by mail, you will receive updates by mail (or by email if you provided an email address on your application) regarding your application status. For example, USAC will contact you if additional information or documents are needed and if your application has been approved. Once you receive notification that you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you can sign up for service with a participating provider following the instructions provided in the email or letter confirming your approval.
If I currently receive Lifeline benefits do I need to apply?
If you are currently enrolled in Lifeline, you generally do not need to apply separately for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. You can contact your current Lifeline provider or a different participating Emergency Broadband Benefit provider serving your area to choose a service plan. Some participating providers may require that current Lifeline recipients complete an alternative verification process.
How is "household" defined for purposes of the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one connected device discount per household. "Household" is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address as one economic unit. An "economic unit" is defined as "all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household." The Emergency Broadband Benefit support is available to eligible low-income subscribers living in group living facilities. Applicants may be asked to complete a one-per-household worksheet, which asks questions about your household to determine if there is more than one household at your address. Learn more at getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/what-is-a-household
What documentation do I need to provide when I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Consumers will need to provide documentation if their eligibility cannot be confirmed automatically by checking a program eligibility database (SNAP or Medicaid, for example). Documents you can use to prove your eligibility include:
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
- For federal Pell Grants, documents should be from this academic year and can include, for example, screenshots of a StudentAid.gov dashboard that clearly documents the student's receipt of a Pell Grant during the current award year, or a copy of the email sent to the applicant by the Department of Education about the EBB Program.
Applicants may also need to provide documentation to confirm their identity or address.
You can learn more about the documentation you may need to provide and how to submit it by visiting: getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply/show-you-qualify.
How can I prove my child is approved for the free and reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast program?
There are two different ways to prove your child is approved.
- If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP, school, when applying online select “Free and Reduced Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program” on the “Confirm You Qualify” page. You can then indicate that your child is enrolled at a CEP school by entering the name of the school and uploading documentation that demonstrates that your child is enrolled at that school.
The documentation must include:
- The student’s (benefit qualifying person’s) name
- Name of the school or of the school district
- A date that coincides with the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year
Examples of acceptable documentation include a letter from the school or school district indicating the child’s enrollment or a report card. Generic school notices that do not include the benefit qualifying person’s name would not be sufficient to enroll in the EBB Program based on the CEP.
- Households that have separately applied for and been approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program can also apply online by selecting “Free and Reduced Price School Lunch or Breakfast Program” on the “Confirm You Qualify” page. You will also be required to submit documentation, such as a letter from a school or school district that confirms that the household’s child or dependent is approved to receive free and reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 school years.
You can learn more about the documentation you may need to provide and how to submit it by visiting: getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply/show-you-qualify.
Who do I contact if I have a disability and need help applying for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance with your Emergency Broadband Benefit application, contact the Emergency Broadband Benefit Support Center at getemergencybroadband.org, via email EBBHelp@usac.org or call 833-511-0311.
If you have a question about whether your Emergency Broadband Benefit service and equipment is accessible, contact the FCC's Disability Rights Office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.
Eligible Broadband Plans
How much does broadband service cost?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount for broadband service up to $50 per eligible household, or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands. The discount will be applied to your broadband service, but the ultimate cost to you will depend on the eligible plan you select from a participating provider.
Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $50 per month (or $75 per month on Tribal lands)?
You may be able to do so. Talk to your provider about the plans they have available as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
If the service plan I pick is $40 per month, do I get the extra money?
No. The provider is only reimbursed for the cost of the plan up to $50 per eligible household, or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands.
If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for broadband service, do I pay the extra myself?
Yes. You are responsible for any amount over $50 per month (or over $75 per month on Tribal lands) for broadband service under the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to my monthly bill?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice, texting and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.
Can part of the monthly discount cover my router rental fee?
Yes. The monthly discount can be used to cover routers, modems, hotspot devices, and antennas, if offered as monthly rental costs in addition to your broadband service cost. Keep in mind the total monthly discount remains $50 (or $75 on Tribal lands).
How does the $100 device benefit work?
Participating broadband service providers can be reimbursed up to $100 if they supply a connected device to a household, as long as the household pays more than $10 but less than $50 for the device. In other words, to take advantage of this benefit, it must be done through your participating broadband provider, and you must contribute a portion of the cost. The device benefit is limited to a laptop, a desktop computer, or a tablet. It does not include cell phones, large phones, or “phablets” that can make cellular calls.
If my child and I are part of the same household, can we each get our own connected device through the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
No. Each household is limited to a single device discount.
Do individuals have to be Tribal members to qualify for the enhanced Tribal benefit?
No. Anyone living on eligible Tribal lands can receive the enhanced Tribal benefit. They do not need to be a member of a Tribe.
How do I know if my household is eligible for the enhanced Tribal benefit?
You can find out more about which areas are eligible Tribal lands by visiting this site: getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/tribal-benefit/.
Can I receive both the enhanced Tribal Lifeline Benefit and the $75 Emergency Broadband Benefit each month?
Yes. An eligible household on Tribal lands can receive both the $34.25 Lifeline Tribal benefit and the $75 Emergency Broadband Benefit. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and a broadband service with the same or different providers as long as the provider is participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.