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. The FCC has not announced the official program start date, but the program is expected to begin soon.
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. Upon receiving notification from the program administrator that the fund is nearing depletion, Eastex will notify all participating customers that the benefit will terminate. Upon termination of the benefit, the participating household will be subject to Eastex’s undiscounted rates if they continue to receive service.
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
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.
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. If you are unsure whether you may qualify for the EBB Program or would like more information, you can visit fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or contact our business offices in Henderson at 903-854-1000, in Livingston at 936-967-1000 or in Waskom at 903-687-3600. 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.