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FCC approves a $50 monthly high-speed internet subsidy

2021-02-26 18:52 by


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved guidelines Thursday for a new internet subsidy program that would provide low-income families with funds for their internet bills during the pandemic.

The Commission will offer eligible households of up to $50 dollars per month for broadband access, or up to $75 dollars per month if their home is built on designated Tribal lands. Those that qualify will also be getting a one-time discount of up to $100 dollars off a tablet or computer. FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated that she expects the Program to be open to eligible recipients "within the next 60 days."

"This is a program that will help those at risk of digital disconnection," Rosenworcel said in a statement. "It will help those sitting in cars in parking lots just to catch a Wi-Fi signal to go online for work. It will help those lingering outside the library with a laptop just to get a wireless signal for remote learning. It will help those who worry about choosing between paying a broadband bill and paying rent or buying groceries."

The $3.2 billion for the program was approved by Congress in December as part of a $900 billion coronavirus relief package. The subsidies are available to households that already participate in an internet provider's low-income or pandemic relief program, subscribers to its Lifeline program, households with children receiving free or reduced-price meals at school, Pell Grant recipients, people on Medicaid or receiving SNAP benefits, and others who have lost their jobs over the past year, the commission said.

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