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Augusta County: Emergency Broadband Benefit available to county residents

Augusta CountyAugusta County’s Broadband Committee is helping raise awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission program. The temporary benefit for eligible households will help lower the cost of internet service during the pandemic for families who are struggling.

The benefits include:

  • Up to $50 per month toward broadband service / up to $75 per month for qualifying Tribal lands
  • Up to $100 toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet with a contribution of between $10 – $50

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who is eligible?

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • 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;
  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • 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
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

How do you apply?

Eligible households can apply in three ways:

  1. Directly with a local participating provider. The FCC maintains a list of participating providers, sorted by state and territory.
  2. Enroll online with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) at their website
  3. Or download a paper application at the getemergencybroadband.orgsite, print and fill out the application in English or Spanish (instructions also available in 9 additional languages), and mail it – along with supporting documentation – to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.

If you are eligible for this benefit, do not delay your application. This benefit is temporary and will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

The Augusta County Library staff is also offering technical assistance with the application and can be reached  or 540-885-3961.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press