US House asks providers to spread the work on Emergency Broadband Benefit household discounts

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce report…

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote to nine internet service providers (ISPs) and their trade associations today urging them to participate in and help make consumers aware of the newly created Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, which will help struggling Americans afford high-speed internet. The $3.2 billion program was created as part of the final omnibus appropriations bill in December and was championed by the Committee leaders.  

Here is a portion of a sample letter

The pandemic has also made access to reliable, high-speed internet more important than ever. Unfortunately, for many people, the cost of home internet service either prevents them from subscribing or forces them to make painful sacrifices in their home budget to pay the cost of service, which is exacerbated by the economic toll of the pandemic.

Once operationalized, this groundbreaking program will provide economically vulnerable families a discount of $50, or $75 on tribal lands, off the monthly cost of home internet service, and a subsidy for certain connected devices. Internet service providers who extend these benefits to eligible households can apply to the FCC for reimbursement.

For this historic $3.2 billion program to help the greatest number of people, it will require the cooperation and support of internet service providers like your company. Simply put, the more companies participate in the program, the more we can, together, ensure that all Americans have this crucial connectivity. As you know, the FCC recently released its unanimously approved rules for the EBB Program and indicated that it will open within 60 days.8 While the FCC is working to establish the start date of the program, your company can play an important role in its success by proactively raising awareness of the program to your customers and the public, including households likely to be eligible for the EBB Program.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong please, but I think these funds are here until gone – so first in are best (longest) served presumably.

This entry was posted in Funding, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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