New Federal Broadband Benefit Targets Digital Divide

The following is an excerpt from a Capitolwire article. Find the full article on our website along with other information the Chamber has compiled on broadband at

A new broadband benefit for mainly low-income consumers in the federal COVID-19 aid package enacted last December is part of efforts to tackle the digital divide with access to high-speed Internet.

The state Public Utility Commission is calling attention to $3.2 billion appropriated for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) overseen by the Federal Communications Commission.

The EBB gives eligible consumers discounts up to $50 a month for broadband service and a one-time discount of up to $100 for purchases of a tablet or computer provided they contribute between $10 to $50 towards the cost. The program is in addition to the existing Lifeline program that provides $5.25 a month to support broadband services for low-income consumers.

The enrollment period for EBB started May 12. The benefit will end when the money runs out or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

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This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s June 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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