The FCC has introduced its Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which could provide $50 per month to struggling households and more in the tribal areas.
The EBBP was formed in the Congress Budget this year, which allocated $3.2 billion for families who are having financial troubles.
The acting FCC chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel (https://variety.com/2021/politics/news/jessica-rosenworcel-fcc-chair-1234889713/), said in a statement, “It is quite clear that without internet, many households can’t lead a modern life. A good internet connection isn’t just a nice thing to have; it’s a must-have.”
The FCC has also proposed certain conditions for people who could be eligible for the Emergency Broadband program. Any person who:
- receives free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch benefits.
- meets the requirements of other programs, such as pandemic-related programs.
- gets a Pell Grant.
- has suffered from a loss of income since 29 Feb 2020.
Out of all these points, the last one is quite vague. It could include anyone who became unemployed or who suffered a significant reduction in his income since 29 Feb 2020. Depending on the exact specifications, it would increase the overall scope of the program. This isn’t the first time that the FCC has referred to Congress. Back in February last year, the FCC wrote a letter to Congress regarding the issue of carriers selling a user’s location data.
Most of the households which qualify for this grant will get around $50 per month. Moreover, the people residing in tribal areas will get $75 per month. There will also be a one-time $100 for a device purchased from any provider.
However, there are several more steps left before anyone gets these discounts. The FCC will approve these rules, which will take two months at the fastest pace. Moreover, there is also a small-time of request from the providers, which would take up more time. It will take around three months if everything goes at full speed. It could even take more time if things don’t go according to the plan.
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