6m US households sign up for broadband subsidies up to $75/m

6m US households sign up for broadband subsidies up to $75 a month

30 September 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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More than six million US households have enrolled in a government scheme to share US$3.2 billion in broadband subsidy.

The scheme, run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), gives hefty discounts on monthly broadband subscriptions and on computers, laptops or other devices.

“The response to the emergency broadband benefit program confirms what many of us knew to be true: too many families remain offline because it’s too expensive for their monthly budget,” said acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel (pictured).  

“Now, thanks to the emergency broadband benefit, millions of kids can better keep up with their schoolwork, parents can train for their next jobs, and patients can stay in contact with their doctors. The FCC is not stopping until we reach as many eligible families so they too can get the support they need.”

The programme offers discounts of $50 – or up to $75 in tribal lands – each month to qualifying households on their internet bill. Some emergency broadband benefit providers also offer a one-time $100 discount on a device, said the FCC.

According to the FCC, nearly 1,200 broadband providers have agreed to take part in the program. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.

The FCC website lists companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Frontier Communications, T-Mobile US and Verizon as participants in the scheme, but also smaller operators such as Lingo in Alabama, Moapa Valley Telephone in Nevada, and Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom in Vermont.