May 12 is launch date for Emergency Broadband Benefit

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Many school districts have provided families with Wi-fi hotspots and other devices to help with online learning. But foster children are more likely to have learning disorders or mental health conditions that make virtual learning hard. (Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Corporation Commission announced Thursday that beginning May 12, Kansans can apply for the Federal Communication Commission’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit.

The Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. The discounts will be available until all funding is exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic.

Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price. One monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household is allowed.

To qualify for the benefit, one member of the household must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Qualify for the Lifeline Program
  • Receive free or reduced price school lunch or breakfast benefits
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current year
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 2020 and a total 2020 income below $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers
  • Meet the criteria for a participating providers exiting low-income or COVID-19 program.

In preparation for the program launch, 747 broadband providers nationwide have signed on to participate. Sixty of those companies will offer service in Kansas. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by clicking here.

For more information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, click here.

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