Broadband aid applications open Wednesday

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Starting Wednesday, households can begin applying for a federal program that will provide eligible recipients with discounts on broadband services and device purchases.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Program offers discounts of up to $50 per month on broadband service and equipment rentals — or up to $75 a month for households on qualifying tribal lands — and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet or desktop computer, with a co-payment between $10 and $50.

One monthly service discount and one device discount are allowed per household, and the program will end either when it runs out of funding or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever comes first.

Households can qualify for the program through a variety of criteria, including an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level, receiving a federal Pell Grant, qualifying for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, and having a child participating in a free or reduce-priced school lunch program.

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