COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business. Learn more about USF program responses.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Important News: Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new, long-term $14 billion program that will replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Households enrolled in the EBB Program as of December 31, 2021, will continue to receive their current monthly benefit during a 60-day transition period. For more information, please visit the FCC’s website.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The FCC announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021.

Consumers looking for information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit should visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org or  fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

Program Overview

In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress appropriated $3.2 billion to the FCC to help low-income households pay for broadband service and connected internet devices.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month for broadband services for eligible consumers. Consumers who live on qualifying Tribal lands can receive enhanced support of up to $75 per month toward broadband services.

Additionally, the program provides a one-time device discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. The one-time discount requires a consumer co-payment of more than $10 and less than $50.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is temporary. It will expire when funds are exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

EBB Program Order

On February 25, 2021, the FCC adopted Report and Order 21-29, officially establishing the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

USAC’s Role

The FCC engaged the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to implement the EBB Program, using the framework of the Lifeline program, an existing FCC program to help provide affordable voice and broadband service to low-income consumers. The EBB Program will leverage Lifeline systems like the Lifeline National Eligibility Verifier, the National Lifeline Accountability Database, and the Lifeline Claims System for subscriber eligibility, enrollment, and service provider reimbursement.

Stay Informed

Explore the USAC Website. Learn more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit program by exploring the EBB program pages on the USAC website. For instance, you can:

Sign Up for Updates. USAC will update this web page as additional information is available. To stay up to date on the EBB Program, sign up for the EBB Program email list.

Attend a Webinar. Register today for an EBB Program webinar or watch a recording of a past webinar.

Contact the Emergency Broadband Support Center. Email us at EBBHelp@usac.org or call us for assistance at (833) 511-0311.

Program Updates

In an Advisory issued on November 22, 2021, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Federal Communications Commission alerted EBB providers, beneficiaries, and the public to improper and abusive EBB program enrollments made in connection with the USDA National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

The FCC Office Of Managing Director and  Wireline Competition Bureau Announced Mitigation Measures for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Enrollments Based on the Community Eligibility Provision in public notices issued on November 22, 2021.