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Lebanon Planning & Development

Posted on: January 28, 2022

Need Help Paying for Internet? Apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit

Emergency Broadband Benefit

If you are part of a household that would benefit from more affordable broadband internet service, you may be eligible for discounts. To learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program and steps for enrollment, you are encouraged to visit FCC.gov/ACP, which includes application links and a Consumer FAQ. The following information is a summary, but you should contact your internet provider for specific details. 

What is the Benefit?

To help address the digital divide by making internet access more affordable, the federal government is working with Internet providers to distribute funding assistance for broadband. On November 15, 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) became law, enabling the program, and in early 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released rules to implement the Affordable Connectivity Program. Broadband is high-speed internet service (the FCC’s current benchmark for fixed broadband service is 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload).

As detailed by the FCC: “The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly.” 

Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

A household is eligible for the subsidy if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines; or
  • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • Is 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, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income program.

Which Internet Providers Are Participating?

Internet service providers (ISPs) in New Hampshire that are participating in the broadband discount program include U.S. Cellular, Consolidate Communications, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Hughes, and other providers. Most providers, like Comcast, Hughes, and Consolidated (click links for enrollment) offer specific information about their program offerings. 

How Do I Apply? 

  1. Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.
  2. Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. 

Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete. 

Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan.

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