Eastex.Net is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the FCC as a provider for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help lower the price for essential broadband internet services for customers affected by the pandemic. 

Enrollment for the EBB Program will end on December 30, 2021 and will be replaced with a new program called The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Any consumers enrolled in the EBB Program before 5 p.m. CT on December 30, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during the 60-day transition period, which ends on March 1, 2022.  For more information about the new Affordable Connectivity Program, please visit our ACP webpage.

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a limited $3.2 billion federal initiative to help lower the cost of high-speed internet for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. This program ended on December 30, 2021 and is therefore no longer accepting enrollments.

What Is the Benefit?

  • Up to $50/month discount for broadband services;
  • Up to $75/month discount for broadband services for households on Tribal lands; and
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. (EASTEX IS NOT A PARTICIPATING PROVIDER)
  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household.

How Long Does the Benefit Last?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is temporary in nature, and the benefits are limited by the federal funding available. The benefit will last for existing EBB members until March 1, 2022. Eastex will notify all participating customers via e-mail and regular mail when the benefit is expected to change and/or end, as well as how to complete required paperwork to opt-in to the Affordable Connectivity Program or an undiscounted service. EASTEX MUST STOP PROVIDING BROADBAND SERVICE TO THE HOUSEHOLD AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE EBB PROGRAM UNLESS THAT HOUSEHOLD AGREES TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE BROADBAND SERVICE.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

During the program term, a household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Qualifies for the federal Lifeline program, including those who are on Medicaid or receive SNAP benefits;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Do I Have to Receive My Benefit from Eastex?

Eligible households may obtain broadband service supported by the EBB Program from any participating provider, and a participating household may transfer their EBB Program benefit to another provider at any time without experiencing early termination penalties.                

What Else Do I Need to Know?

The EBB Program benefit is separate from any existing Lifeline benefits and is subject to verification of the customer using the discounted broadband service. Please contact our business offices in Henderson at 903-854-1000, in Livingston at 936-967-1000 or in Waskom at 903-687-3600 with questions about the EBB program or other internet assistance programs. We also encourage you to follow us on social media for EBB Program announcements. You may follow our Facebook newsfeed @eastexcoop, or our Twitter feed @EastexTelephone.