Hawaii Mom Blog: New Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Will Help Provide Low-Income Households with Internet Access

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June 2, 2021

New Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Will Help Provide Low-Income Households with Internet Access

As the COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity. With many Hawaii residents continuing to  work remotely, engaging in distance learning, utilizing telehealth services and accessing  government services online, the need is greater than ever before. A new program established  by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year can potentially help thousands of households across Hawaii pay for their internet service. Under the Emergency  Broadband Benefit Program which launches today, May 12, eligible households can receive up  to $50 a month towards broadband service and up to $75 for households on Hawaiian Home  Lands. To apply or for more information on the program, visit broadband.hawaii.gov/ebb
The program is limited to one monthly service discount. Eligible households may also receive a  one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from  participating Hawaii internet service providers if they contribute a minimum of $10 towards the  purchase price. 
“The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way we live, work and learn, and made it abundantly  clear that internet connectivity is a necessity,” said Gov. Ige. “As many residents continue to  work remotely, to engage in distance learning, to utilize telehealth services and to access  government services online, the need is greater than ever before. About 200,000 households  could be eligible for this benefit which will help Hawaii residents get or remain connected.” 
Hawaii households are eligible to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program if one  member of the household: 
• Qualifies for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or Lifeline program.
• Received benefits under the free and reduced-price school breakfast or lunch program
• Filed for unemployment or PUA or experienced a loss of hours in the last year

To see the full list of eligibility details, visit broadband.hawaii.gov/ebb. 
The participating Hawaii internet service providers for the Emergency Broadband Benefit  Program currently include:  
Aloha Broadband 
American Broadband and  Telecommunications Company
AT&T 
Charter Spectrum 
Cricket Wireless 
Hawaiian Telcom
PCsforPeople
Selectel Wireless
T-Mobile 
Truconnect 
Verizon 
Hawaii households can apply for the program in three ways: 
Contacting your internet service provider directly to learn about their application  process and what benefits they will offer 
Applying online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org 
Calling 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application and mailing it with your proof of  eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081 London, KY 40742 
This program is funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 – passed by  Congress in December 2020 – which established the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund  and allocated $3.2 billion for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. 
“Now more than ever, internet access has become essential for every household,” said Burt  Lum, strategic officer, for the Hawaii Broadband Initiative, State of Hawaii. “This new program  has the potential to create more digital equity in Hawaii by providing our island residents who  are suffering during this pandemic with the connectivity tools they need to live and thrive in  today’s digital world.” 
For more information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and how to apply, visit broadband.hawaii.gov/ebb.  

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