Tribal Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
“Will customers be locked in lengthycontracts after the program stops providing EBB assistance?” Questions asked by Tribal leaders during the June 22, 2021 FCC Tribal listening session on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a federally funded program administered through the Federal Communication Commision (FCC) to assist struggling families afford broadband service to their homes. The program provides $50 assistance to qualified families and up to $75 for households located on tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time $100 discount when purchasing any laptop, table, or desktop computer.
According to the FCC, over 2.7 million households have enrolled in the EBB program as of June 20, 2021. With over 71,000 of those enrolled being recorded as tribal households located on tribal lands.
The listening session provided information about program specifics, including how much funding is available and who qualifies for this assistance. Applying and reporting information with internet service providers (ISP) once accepted and enrolled in the program was also shared. Consumers must opt in to continue broadband service after the program ends protecting the customer from being further charged the regular rate of service. Opting into the program prevents customers from getting stuck paying higher Internet service fees once the EBB Program ends.
More information about the EBB Program and more specifically about the FCC Outreach Toolkit can be found in the following link. The toolkit can be used to further provide information and awareness about the program through marketing materials like public service announcements and downloadable infographics. https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-outreach-toolkit.