How To Get Emergency Broadband Benefit for $50 Monthly Internet Discounts

American households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic struggling to pay for internet service can now apply to receive a discount of up to $75 per month on their broadband bill under the government's new Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Eligible recipients can also get a discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer or tablet device if they contribute a certain amount toward the purchase, the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement Wednesday.

Those eligible for the benefit can apply by contacting their provider directly, or apply online or by mail.

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a program offered by the FCC. It aims to help households struggling to pay for broadband access due to the financial impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The FCC says: "This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms and so much more."

The program will make "up to $3.2 billion worth of consumer discounts on broadband services and equipment like computers and tablets" available, the FCC said Wednesday.

The federal body advised the program will be available "until the $3.2 billion in federal funding runs out or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic."

How much is the discount?

Those eligible can receive up to $50 per month to help cover their broadband service and "up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands," the FCC says.

The benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

The FCC adds: "Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price."

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the discount, a member of your household must meet one of the following criteria, as outlined by the FCC.

  • Have an income that is at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Been approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

How can I apply?

Households can contact their internet provider directly to check whether it is part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and learn more about their application process. The FCC says there are 825 broadband providers participating in the program.

Interested applicants can also apply online at, where they can also find participating providers near them.

Others can call 1-833-511-0311 to request a paper application and send it by mail. The application must be submitted with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility for the benefit and be posted to the following address: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.

"After receiving an eligibility determination, households can contact their preferred service provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan," the FCC advises.

See the FCC website for more information.

Logos on phone laptop in London 2020
The logos of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft displayed on a mobile phone and a laptop screen in London, U.K. in December 2020. American households can now apply to receive a discount of up to $50 per month on their internet service under a new government benefit scheme. Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images