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New Emergency Broadband Benefit program to expand access

Posted on May 27, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

A new federal program to help low-income households pay for internet service is available now. Under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), eligible households can receive up to $50 a month to pay for broadband service. Qualifying lessees on Hawaiian Home Lands may apply for a benefit of up to $75 per month. Eligible households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 toward the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. “About 200,000 households could be eligible for this benefit,” said Governor Ige. “The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way we live, work and learn. Everyone needs broadband access and internet connectivity, or they’ll be left behind.”

Hawai‘i households are eligible to apply for the program if one member of the household: 1) Qualifies for the FCC Lifeline program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); 2) Received benefits under the “free and reduced” school breakfast or lunch program; or 3) Filed for unemployment or PUA or experienced a loss of hours. Hawai‘i households can apply in three ways: 1) Contact an internet service provider directly ; 2) Apply at; or 3) Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application and send with proof of eligibility to Emergency Broadband Support, P.O. Box 7081 London, KY 40742.

Read more in the June Capitol Connection newsletter.

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