New Federal Program: Free Internet for Low-Income Families
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Gain an understanding of the benefits of this new federal program and how to apply.The December 2020 federal stimulus bill created a $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Program to pay for internet access for low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic to help students and families with distance learning and working remotely. They can get up to $50/month ($75/month in tribal areas), plus funds for equipment like computers and tablets. To make sure internet service is provided immediately, congress required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules implementing the program by the end of February. This material is designed to make you aware of this benefit and how to sign up. Exact topics to be covered will depend on the final FCC rules.
AuthorsJohn W. Pestle, Esq., Varnum LLP
Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq., Telecom Law Firm, P.C.
What Households Are Eligible? (Likely Among Others Students Getting Free/Reduced Price Lunch or Pell Grant, Families With Substantial Loss of Income Since February 2020)
How Will Schools Verify Participation in the Free/Reduced Price Lunch Program?
How Do Students and Families Sign Up?
How Fast Does Internet Service Have to Be to Be Paid for?
What If a Household Currently Has Internet Service and It Costs More Than $50/$75 a Month? (Likely a $50 Credit)
What Equipment Can the $100 Be Used for?
What Internet Providers Are Covered? (Apparently All - Cable, Landline Phone, Cell Phone, Wired Broadband Providers, Wireless/Microwave Internet Companies)
How Can Small Wireless Internet Companies and the Like Obtain Approval so Their Customers Can Benefit?