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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a Federal Communications Commission program to help families and households with the cost of internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this new benefit is to connect eligible households to jobs, virtual classrooms, critical healthcare, and other online services.

Many University of Minnesota students meet eligibility requirements. Examples of people who meet eligibility criteria include:

  • Recipients of a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Recipients of veterans pension and survival benefits
  • Students whose permanent residences are on Tribal lands

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of eligibility requirements for the EBB program.

Benefits are distributed by household. A household is eligible to receive:

  • a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households or a discount of up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
  • a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a participating provider if you contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Important program details

  • The EBB enrollment opened on May 12, 2021.
  • The EBB is a temporary program that will end once the program funds are exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Participating providers must give households notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply, in addition to information about the cost of broadband service after the program ends.
  • Households will need to opt-in or request to continue broadband services with their provider. If they don’t opt-in or select a new service plan with the provider, their broadband service will end once the program ends. Even if they had a service with the same provider before enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, they will need to opt-in to continue broadband services after the program ends.

Verification process

  • For Federal Pell Grants, documents should be from this academic year and can include screenshots of a StudentAid.gov dashboard or a copy of the email sent by the Department of Education about the EBB Program.
  • Verification documents for veteran benefits could include a benefit award letter, statement of benefits, or benefit verification letter.

For more information

More detailed information can be found on the Emergency Broadband Benefit program website. If you have any questions about the program, we encourage you to reach out to the EBB helpline (EBBHelp@usac.org | 833-511-0311). They are open from 8 a.m. CDT to 8 p.m. CDT, 7 days a week and can answer questions regarding the status of your EBB program application, documents needed to show you qualify, and participating companies in your area.

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