To help address the “Digital Divide”, Congress included approximately $7 billion for various broadband initiatives in the Coronovirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) passed at the end of last year. On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order creating the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. This $3.2 billion program will make discounts on broadband service and equipment available to qualifying individuals during the pandemic.
Each qualifying household may receive a discount of up to $50 per month on broadband service and a on-time discount on a computer or tablet. Individuals may qualify for the program in several different ways, but most importantly for community colleges, anyone that received a Pell Grant in the current award year is eligible. The FCC is currently operationalizing the program and expects to have it up and running by the end of April. I will provide updates to this much needed program as they become available.
April 11, 2011