FAQs regarding emergency broadband benefits program
DISCOUNTS / COSTS
How much of a discount will I receive on my Internet service?
If eligible, you will receive a monthly discount of up to $50.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household. DTC will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
How much does broadband service cost?
The discount will be applied to your broadband service, but the ultimate cost to you will depend on the eligible plan you select from us.
Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $50 per month?
Yes, you can upgrade your current plan.
If the service plan I pick is $40 per month, do I get the extra money?
No. We are only reimbursed for the cost of the plan up to $50 per eligible household.
If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for broadband service, do I pay the extra myself?
Yes. You are responsible for any amount over $50 per month for broadband service under the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to my monthly bill?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice, and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.
Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses.
ELIGIBILTY / HOW TO SIGN UP
Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
A household is eligible if one member of the household:
- Qualifies for the Lifeline (https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers) 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.
Can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?
Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.
Can I receive both the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Lifeline benefits at the same time?
Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Everyone at my child’s school receives breakfast and lunch at no cost. Do we qualify?
Yes. Households with a student enrolled in a school or school district where every student receives this benefit are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
PROGRAM LENGTH / WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT ENDS
How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit program last?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.
How will I know the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is ending?
We will provide notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill, in addition to information about the cost of your broadband service after the program ends.
What if the program funding runs out during my monthly billing cycle?
The end of the program may not be timed to your billing cycle for service. This may result in you receiving less than the full monthly service discount in the final month of the program. So you might receive a partial benefit in the last month of the program, we must receive your permission before we can charge you an amount higher than what you would pay if the full Emergency Broadband Benefit is applied to your broadband bill. In other words, if you were receiving a $50 discount off your broadband bill, but based on the available funds in the program, there is only enough to provide you with a $40 discount, we must have your permission to charge you the additional $10.
Can I continue to receive broadband service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ends?
Households will need to opt-in or request to continue broadband services with us. If you don’t opt-in or select a new service plan with us, your broadband service will end once the program ends.
Will I be charged for service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ends?
Yes, if you agree to continue receiving service from us.
What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?
Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org.