$3.2 billion available nationwide for emergency broadband benefitMay 11, 2021
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (May 11, 2021) Today, the Arkansas Department of Commerce announced it is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), 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 EBB program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households or 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.
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 2019-2020 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 will begin on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly at www.broadband.arkansas.gov or www.getemergencybroadband.org. 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.
About the Arkansas Department of Commerce
The Arkansas Department of Commerce is the umbrella department for workforce and economic development drivers. Its divisions and regulatory boards include Division of Aeronautics, Waterways Commission, Wine Producers Council, Division of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development, State Bank Department, Insurance Department, Securities Department, Economic Development Commission and Development Finance Authority. It was established July 2019 as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s wide-sweeping efficiency and transformation efforts to reduce 42 cabinet agencies to 15 while maintaining services for all Arkansans.