Program helps to lower the cost of internet services for eligible households during the COVID-19 pandemic
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – Missoula, MT – Today, Blackfoot Communications announced it is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
The $3.2B Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to a $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.
A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP or Medicaid;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income through 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
- Is a Blackfoot customer participating in the Federal Lifeline Program.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is now open for enrollment.
Eligible households can enroll through Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application. Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
Please note: This is a temporary program as defined by the FCC, available during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. For Blackfoot customers using the Federal Lifeline Program, please contact us to better understand how taking advantage of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program impacts your Lifeline program.
Blackfoot supports the following additional resources:
- E-rate: https://www.usac.org/e-rate
- Rural Health: https://www.usac.org/rural-health-care
- Idaho Telephone Service Assistance Program: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/financial-assistance/home-heatingutility-assistance/about-itsap
- Montana Telephone Assistance Program: https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/mtap