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Special FCC Internet Discount
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will provide discounts on monthly internet fees as well as a smart device discount per eligible household. Benefits are as follows:
– Up to $50/month discount for broadband services
– A one-time discount of up to $100 for a tablet purchased through United Communications if you pay more than $10 toward the purchase price (recipient contribution of $10.01 to $50 depends upon tablet model).
* Note that the Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household.
The start date for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is May 12, 2021. There are two ways to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program:
1. Go to www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online through the National Verifier.
2. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
PLUS United will be offering various tablets for a discount up to $100 if eligible customer contributes more than $10 toward the purchase; final contribution amount is determined by tablet price.
All eligible EBBP participants must complete a consent form to receive the discount from United Communications. Please click on the form below and complete the information.
Who Is Eligible/Can Benefit From This?
A household is eligible for EBBP benefits if at least one member of the household:
– Is Lifeline eligible
– Has applied for and been approved to receive benefits under the federal free and reduced price lunch program under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the school breakfast program under section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966
– Has experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 that is documented by layoff or furlough notice, application for unemployment insurance benefits, or similar documentation or that is otherwise verifiable through the National Verifier or NLAD
– Has received a Federal Pell Grant under section 401 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 in the current award year
– Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID–19 program, subject to approval by the Commission and any other requirements deemed by the Commission to be necessary in the public interest (this applies to the “Comcast Internet Essentials” types of programs).
Other Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can more than one person in a household qualify?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses—roommates are a household, a family living together are a household.
2. When can I sign up for the EBB program?
The program has been authorized by the FCC to start on May 12, 2021.
3. Who receives the funds?
As the provider, United Communications will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
4. Can I apply for the EBB if I have a past due balance?
Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit. The EBB does not apply to the past due balance, it will cover $50 of the current month’s invoice.
5. Can I use the funds to upgrade my service?
Yes, talk to your provider about the plans they have available as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
6. Can I receive both 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 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.
7. 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 www.lifelinesupport.org.
8. How long with the EBB program last?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit 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.
9. How will I know the EBB program is ending?
United Communications will give you 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.
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, your participating provider must receive your permission before they can 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, your provider must have your permission to charge you the additional $10.
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. Even if you had service with the same provider before enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you will need to opt-in to continue broadband services after the program ends.
Important: This is a Temporary Program
Before you 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 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 Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, they will be billed the broadband provider’s general monthly rate.