U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) on May 19 highlighted the launch of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program and urged eligible constituents to enroll to receive a discount on their monthly internet bill.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a groundbreaking new program that aims to help economically vulnerable Americans afford their monthly internet bill. The program was created as part of the final omnibus appropriations bill in December, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that open enrollment in the program has begun. The EBB Program will provide struggling families a discount of $50, or $75 on tribal lands, off the monthly cost of home internet service. It may also be used to receive a discount for the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer. Internet providers who participate in the program can apply to the FCC for reimbursement.
“Throughout this public health crisis we’ve seen just how reliant our economy and our livelihoods have become on broadband – as education moved online, critical health appointments moved to video calls, and small businesses sought to sell products without contact. That’s why the EBB program helps make internet more affordable for families across our region,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Having more folks online can help our local employers, empower students to keep learning, and help rural communities get in on the economic growth.”
Households interested in learning whether they qualify are encouraged to visit the FCC’s new enrollment website – getemergencybroadband.org/ – and then sign up for the program through their internet service provider.
Earlier this year, Kilmer reintroduced the Broadband for All Act (H.R. 2411), legislation to create refundable tax credits for businesses and groups of people who team up to build the infrastructure that connects them to the country’s existing rural broadband service. The Broadband for All Act would create a new tax credit of up to 75 percent for groups of two or more homeowners or businesses to help cover the cost of building the infrastructure needed to get them online. The tax refund applies to any available technology, so each group can choose the best option that bridges the “last-mile” gap between their homes and businesses and the existing broadband service network.