What is it?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a new program that will help to lower the cost of broadband service for households struggling to afford internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a temporary benefit. The $3.2B EBB program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Qualifying broadband services include internet or a mobile wireless data plan.
Who is eligible?
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.
What is the process?
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opened on May 12, 2021
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org and complete the online application form, including providing the required eligibility documentation. There is an option to print and mail in the application if you prefer. You can also pick up a paper copy of the application at one of our Silver Star locations.
- Bring your USAC verifier (confirmation page) and a copy of the National Verifier application to any Silver Star retail location. Silver Star will ask for some basic information, which you can print out and fill out in advance.
- Silver Star adjusts your account for EBB – up to $50 depending on your plan.
- You should see the benefit credit on the next billing month following your application approval (the “eligibility date”)
How long will this temporary program last?
The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.