Emergency Broadband Benefit

  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which will provide free Internet to low-income families during the COVID emergency, will begin accepting enrollments on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at the Get Emergency Broadband website

    Program Summary

    EBB subsidies will be up to $50/month for Internet access and up to $100 toward the purchase of a connected device (computer or tablet) from an EBB provider.  Only one Internet subsidy is eligible per household.  Only one connected device subsidy is eligible per household, and the household must contribute between $10-$50 towards the purchase price.  

    Participating Providers in PA

    A total of 48 Pennsylvania providers have signed up to participate. Blue Ridge Communications is one of them. A link to a full list is of broadband providers can be found by clicking the Federal Communication Commission's link below. Before clicking the link, please note that "Fixed" means home Internet service and "Mobile" means wireless Internet services. 

    The Federal Communication Commission's List of Broadband Providers

    Application Process

    1. Applicants will first determine if they qualify for EBB benefits. To see if you qualify please click the Do I Qualify LinkA household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

      • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid o the FCC's Lifeline program;

      • Approved to receive 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; 

      • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; 

      • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or

      • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

      • If the consumer is already receiving federal Lifeline benefits or participating in a vendor's existing low-income or COVID-relief Internet program, they may not need to apply again for EBB. The consumer should reach out to their existing Lifeline or low-income INternet provider for directions.

    2. There are 3 ways to apply for EBB benefits beginning May 12, 2021:

    3. After you submit an application, the EBB Administrator will share the results of their application. If you apply online, you may receive immediate approval. If the EBB Administrator cannot prove your eligibility automatically, they will request additional documentation and instructions on how to submit those documents for review. 

    4. After the EBB Administrator approves your application, you can choose a company that offers EBB Program discounts and sign up for the service. 

    5. The company submits reimbursement claims to the EBB administrator for their enrolled customers. 

    Longevity of EBB 

    This is a Temporary Program.  Before families apply, it is important to understand that the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. Participating households will need to opt-in to continue receiving broadband services from their provider after the program ends.  If a household chooses to continue receiving service after the end of the EBB, they will be billed the broadband provider’s general monthly rate.