The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved an emergency subsidy for low-income households to get high-speed internet in an effort to bridge the digital divide cutting many Americans off from online communication during the pandemic.
The FCC agreed to offer up to $50 a month to low-income households, up to $75 a month to households on Native American land for broadband service, and a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible homes. The program will use $3.2 billion allocated last year by Congress, as part of its Covid-19 relief bill, to bring internet service to families for distance learning, work and digital health care. The program will be available within the next two months, but the agency still needs to sign up willing service providers, as well as set up a program to approve and track recipients. The pandemic has highlighted the digital divide, creating a greater urgency to help those at risk of digital disconnection.
To learn more about eligible recipients and the challenges around providing affordable and reliable internet to underserved areas, visit here.