The Central Virginian: Spanberger encourages Central Virginians to seek $50 internet discount

THE CENTRAL VIRGINIAN

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger called on eligible Central Virginians to enroll in the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

The EBB provides families with a discount of $50 off the monthly cost of home internet service. In some cases, the program also provides an additional subsidy for a computer for qualifying households. Last week, the FCC launched open enrollment in the program.

Eligible households can enroll by contacting their internet service provider. To learn more about the program and to begin the application for assistance, click here.

“For so many families in Central Virginia, the COVID-19 pandemic reiterated the importance of reliable high-speed internet. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program helps these families afford the internet access they need to keep up with their neighbors, complete their homework, and stay connected to their workplaces,” said Spanberger. 

“With the FCC announcing the launch of the EBB open enrollment period, this moment is an opportunity for additional Seventh District residents to apply for — and hopefully receive — this much-needed discount. As Congress continues its efforts to close the digital divide and invest in our broadband internet infrastructure, I encourage any member of our community with questions to please reach out to my office or their service provider for additional information about this immediate relief.”

The EBB program was established as part of the end-of-year funding deal Spanberger helped craft and voted to pass in December 2020.

According to the FCC, 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 percent 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 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; or

Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

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