The City of San Marcos encourages eligible residents to apply for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit program. The temporary program could help lower the cost of broadband service for households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program launched in May and provides a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband service. The program also provides a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase.
To be eligible for assistance, a member of a household must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Has an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs including SNAP or Medicaid
- 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 or 2020-2021 school year
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
- Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program
Enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program began May 12. According to the FCC, 2.3 million households have already received assistance and funding is still available for additional applicants. The program will continue until all funding has been exhausted.
Eligible households may enroll through a participating broadband provider, online, or by mail. Participating providers in the San Marcos area include AT&T, CenturyLink, Grande Communications, Spectrum, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
For more information, visit www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefitor call 833.511.0311