Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Rep. Ron Kind Highlights New Program Aimed at Making Broadband Services More Affordable for Wisconsin Families, Open for Enrollment Starting Today

May 12, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program, is now open for enrollment. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.   

The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.   

“Enrollment is now open for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a temporary program which provides discounts for broadband services and devices to Wisconsin families struggling to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “The internet is a necessity, and now more than ever, having a broadband connection is essential for families to gain access to jobs, health care services, virtual classrooms, and more. I encourage all interested Wisconsinites to check if they qualify for this vital program and apply.”  

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least 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 the FCC’s Lifeline program;  
  • 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 through 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.
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opens today, May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
 
Rep. Kind has been a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force since it was created in 2019, and has continuously supported legislation to expand broadband access for all Wisconsinites.