FCC launching program to help families afford internet service during COVID-19 pandemic

North Carolina

This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass.

AHOSKIE, N.C. (WAVY) — The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is launching a program to help struggling households be able to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program is designed to provide families a discount of up to $50 per month towards their broadband service.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Residents can apply for for the program beginning May 12 here.

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets 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 in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 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

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