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Today, the City of Hutchinson announced it is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our hope is that this benefit can help the 17.3% of households who do not have broadband access at home as well as those who have struggled to maintain connection at this time when it is most critical,” said Rebekah Starkey Keasling, director of public information and community engagement.
The federally funded $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opened on May 12, 2021. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.