Start date set for FFC program to help low-income households with broadband services
FARMINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission will start accepting applications on May 12 for its program to help low-income families pay for internet service during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide up to $50 a month to eligible households to pay for broadband internet service. The assistance is up to $75 a month for households on tribal lands.
It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households.
"Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner," acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release.
The program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or coronavirus pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider.
Also eligible to apply are those who subscribe to the Lifeline program, those on Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, households with children receiving free and reduced-price meals at school, Pell Grant recipients and those who have lost employment or had their income reduced in the last year.
More information about the program and how to apply is available at https://getemergencybroadband.org.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer encourage tribal members to apply for the program.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for broadband connectivity to meet the needs of our students, teachers, first responders, elders, and others," Nez said in a press release from his office.
He added his administration advocated to the FCC for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and other resources to increase broadband connectivity on the reservation.
"With the anticipated American Rescue Plan Act funds, we are planning for more broadband infrastructure development for our communities. We encourage all eligible Navajo families to contact your service provider to enroll in the program," Nez said.
The release listed Cellular One of northeast Arizona, Commnet Four Corners, NTUA Choice Wireless, Sacred Winds Communications and WNM Communications as participating broadband service providers that serve the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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