FCC’s Broadband Program Reaches 2.3 Million Households in Three Weeks

June 7, 2021 by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission announced today that 2.3 million households have enrolled in its Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, not even a month after its launch.   

The subsidy program provides eligible households with discounted, high-speed broadband service as well as devices like a tablet or a computer. With over 1000 broadband providers joining in the effort, the program seeks to assist the long-term goal of closing the digital divide between communities with high-speed internet and those without. 

It will provide “good data” that will “inform any long-term efforts to address broadband affordability,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. Proponents of the temporary program have called for a permanent version of it, as well as better data

Today’s statement also included the announcement of a new data dashboard that tracks the EBB Program’s progress through the Universal Service Administrative Company, which administers the FCC’s Universal Service Fund that ensures low-income households have communication services. 

There are various ways for households to apply for the EBB Program. If they are participating in other existing assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, FCC’s Lifeline Program or a meal subsidy program for their school-aged child, they can apply through those programs. They are also eligible if they are a Federal Pell Grant recipient for post-secondary education or if their broadband provider has a COVID-19 relief program. 

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