When? Starts May 12, 2021
Who? See below …
What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.
How can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband program?
You will need to go online to www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit to enroll in this FCC program and receive confirmation that you are eligible, then you will go to Consolidated’s website, www.consolidatednd.com and fill out the necessary paperwork online.
FCC Address to request forms and to submit for eligibility if online access is not available:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
When can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The program has been authorized by the FCC, the start date May 12, 2021. Please check FCC website, www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, regularly for the latest information.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). Consolidated, like all participating broadband service providers, will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
A household is eligible if one member of the household:
1) Qualifies for the Lifeline program:
2) Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
3) Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
4) Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
Can I apply if I have a past due balance with a provider?
Yes, eligible customers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.
Can I sign up for the EBB if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?
Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.
Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses. Learn more about how a household is defined by visiting this site: https://getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/what-is-a-household/
What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?
Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click “Do I Qualify?”).
Can I receive both the EBB and Lifeline benefits at the same time?
Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Everyone at my child’s school receives breakfast and lunch at no cost. Do we qualify?
If your household received benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year, you are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
I live in a multi-unit dwelling (e.g. apartment) and we pay the property manager/landlord a monthly fee for our internet. Can I get the EBB?
Yes. If you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, talk to your property manager/landlord and ask that they work with their broadband service provider to learn more about the benefits that might be available to you and other eligible residents.
Check with the provider for more information about whether you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
How much does broadband service cost?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a monthly discount for broadband service up to $50 per eligible household, or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands. The discount will be applied to your broadband service, but the ultimate cost to you will depend on the eligible plan you select from a participating provider.
If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for broadband service, do I pay the extra myself?
Yes, depending on service location. You are responsible for any amount over $50 per month (or over $75 per month on Tribal lands) for broadband service under the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply EBB to my monthly bill?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice, texting, and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.
How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program last?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.
How will I know the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is ending?
Your participating provider will provide notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill, in addition to information about the cost of your broadband service after the program ends. Consolidated will place a message on all customers bills each month reminding customers this is a temporary program and estimated end date is six months from start of program.
What if the program funding runs out during my monthly billing cycle?
The end of the program may not be timed to your billing cycle for service. This may result in you receiving less than the full monthly service discount in the final month of the program. In the event that you might receive a partial benefit in the last month of the program, Consolidated will notify you before they charge you an amount higher than what you would pay if the full Emergency Broadband Benefit is applied to your broadband bill. In other words, if you were receiving a $50 discount off of your broadband bill, but based on the available funds in the program, there is only enough to provide you with a $40 discount, you will be notified that the full amount will not be covered under the plan. Consolidated will place a message on all customer bills each month reminding customers this is a temporary program and provide 30-day notice if possible, for the end of program.
Can I continue to receive broadband service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ends?
Households will need to opt-in or request to continue broadband services with their provider. If you don’t opt-in or select a new service plan with your provider, your broadband service will end once the program ends. Consolidated customers are opting in when they sign DocuSign agreement to continue service and be billed once program ends.
Will I be charged for service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ends?
Yes, if you agree to continue receiving service from your provider. Consolidated customers are opting in when they sign DocuSign agreement to continue service and be billed once program ends.