LEONARDTOWN, MD–St. Mary’s County Government announces the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. The program also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributesmore than $10 and less than $50toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
A household is eligible if one member of the home meets at leastoneof 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 Feb. 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 May 12, 2021.
For more information on the application process in St. Mary’s County, go to the Atlantic Broadband website at https://atlanticbb.com/ebb or Comcast’s Emergency Broadband Benefits Program page https://tinyurl.com/33un85ta. Eligible households can also enroll 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.
For additional information on St. Mary’s County Broadband efforts, visit the county website www.stmarysmd.com\broadband.