The Federal Communications Commission is launching a program to help families and households afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting today, Wednesday, May 12, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities in access to services that have long existed in our community, especially when it comes to the digital divide," said Mayor Regina Romero. "I encourage all Tucsonans who are eligible to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit to either help purchase a device or lower your internet bill."
Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company using an online or mail-in application. You can learn more about the EBB Program, including eligibility and enrollment information at GetEmergencyBroadband.org, on the City of Tucson website or by calling (833) 511-0311.
“A pivotal part of Tucson’s economic resiliency is ensuring quality and affordable broadband is accessible to the entire community,” said Vice Mayor Nikki Lee. “The past year has shown how essential reliable internet access is for connecting to school, work, and countless other services. I was proud to champion the City of Tucson’s WiFi program, targeting key areas of need in our community. Now, thanks to President Biden and our federal leadership, everyone has the opportunity to receive free and fast online access.”
The EBB Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for universal access to digital services for telemedicine, virtual learning, employment opportunities and other services. The City of Tucson encourages eligible participants to apply for the federal program.