How to sign up for $50 a month federal benefit to help pay for internet

Bill Mount

The Federal Communication Commission has announced signup plans for a program that will provide monthly subsidies to help cover the cost of internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will start May 12. On that date, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly […]

The Federal Communication Commission has announced signup plans for a program that will provide monthly subsidies to help cover the cost of internet service.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will start May 12. On that date, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.

Two of Oregon’s largest internet service providers, Comcast and Ziply Fiber, are participating in the program. But CenturyLink, which serves Portland and several other parts of the state, is not among the participants identified by the FCC.

“In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities,” ” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The discounts are worth up to $50 a month on internet service and a one-time $100 discount on purchasing a computer or tablet. Among the roughly 750 participating companies are AT&T, Version, T-Mobile and Comcast.

The benefit, passed in December as part of the COVID relief measure, is open to households that participate in and current low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or receive SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.

You can see more information here.

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