ST. PETERSBURG — Digital Inclusion St. Pete announced it is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a 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.
Partners of Digital Inclusion St. Pete are also available to assist households in navigating the application process.
What is the emergency broadband benefit?
The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. 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.
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 percent 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 2019-20 or 2020-21 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
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
How do households apply?
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opened on May 12. 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 9-9 p.m. any day of the week
What local assistance is available?
The Digital Inclusion St. Pete team is offering assistance to households in navigating the application process. To schedule an appointment, call 727-851-6723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Digital Inclusion St. Petersburg
Digital Inclusion St. Pete is a collaboration of over 28 organizations. Its mission is to eliminate the digital inclusion gap in St Petersburg and Pinellas County. The group’s vision is that St. Petersburg is a digitally inclusive city where all individuals have access to online resources, as well as the skills to use them meaningfully.
For additional information visit digitalstpete.com.