Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Deadline Approaches

submitted by Ottawa County
Deadline to apply for broadband internet credit is 12.30.2021; program becomes Affordable Connectivity Program on 12.31.2021

The temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB), launched in 2021 to help households afford high-speed internet service during the pandemic, is being replaced by a permanent Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Just like the EBB, the ACP will continue to provide eligible households with a discount on broadband internet service and connected devices.

Here’s a breakdown of what benefits these programs provide and how they’re changing in a question-and-answer format:

When does the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program switch over to the Affordable Connectivity Program?

The ACP officially supplants the EBB program beginning on Dec. 31, 2021.

What does the change mean for participants?

The discount drops from $50 to $30 per month. Currently under the EBB, eligible households receive discounts of up to $50 per month toward broadband service, and a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. After the transitionary period, beginning March 1, 2022, households enrolled in ACP (formerly EBB) will receive $30 per month to go toward broadband service.

What does the transitionary period mean?

The Infrastructure Act provides for a 60-day transition period for households that were enrolled in the EBB Program before Dec. 31, 2021. This means households participating in EBB will continue to receive a $50 per month discount toward internet service through March 1, 2022. If a household applies after Dec. 30, if deemed eligible, they will receive the $30 per month benefit. You can still apply for EBB until Dec. 30, 2021 – see ‘Can I still sign up for EBB?’ section below for more information.

Do I need to reapply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Only if your household qualified for EBB due to loss of income because of a job loss or furlough beginning Feb. 29, 2020, or by meeting other eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s COVID program.

Will there be more options from providers?

Yes! Participating providers must now provide the ACP discount on any internet service offering they provide.

Can I still sign up for EBB?

Yes! Eligible households can and are still encouraged to apply for the EBB program through 6 p.m. Dec. 30. Those who enroll by 6 p.m. Dec. 30 will be eligible for the EBB subsidy during the 60-day transition period to the ACP. Those who enroll after Dec. 30 will be eligible for the applicable ACP monthly benefit, not the EBB. Please note that applying on Dec. 30 may not guarantee your household enrollment in EBB. If a household has a pending EBB Program application after EBB Program enrollments cease, that household’s application will be used for eligibility determination and enrollment in the ACP.

Do I qualify for EBB or ACP?

Visit getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify to learn if your household qualifies for EBB. Once ACP is enacted, eligibility information will be posted on the Federal Communication Commission website. To learn more and watch for updates, please visit fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit periodically.