WASHINGTON—The FCC has announced the first batch of internet service providers that will participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. A total of 319 providers have opted into the program, offering broadband supported by the federal benefit to households.
The 319 providers, which serve all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and half of U.S. territories, are the first wave of participants, with the FCC expecting more to sign up in the future.
Some of the providers that have signed up for the program include AT&T, Cable One, Comcast, Cricket Wireless and BellSouth Telecommunications. The full list is available on the FCC website.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a $3.2 billion program designed to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those struggling to afford broadband connectivity. The program offers eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. A one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet is also available for eligible households.
Households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, as are Lifeline subscribers, households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfasts, Pell grant recipients and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.
“Ever since the FCC adopted rules for the nation’s largest-ever program to help households nationwide afford broadband service, agency staff has been hard at work providing interested providers with guidance to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Every day we are approving additional interested providers, developing the program systems to make it available for consumer sign-up and working hard to ensure that eligible households most at risk of digital disconnection can soon take advantage of this benefit.”
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