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FCC Unveils First Round of Emergency Broadband Benefit Participants

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The FCC has released a list of the 300-plus wired and wireless ISPs who have been accepted into its Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which provides subsidized internet service and devices.

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The providers are in all 50 states and the district. This is just the first wave of accepted providers for the multi-billion-dollar subsidy, which provides up to $50 per month (and up to $75 on tribal lands) toward broadband service in eligible households--those struggling to afford broadband connectivity during a pandemic that has made virtual connection an essential service.

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Among the familiar names on the list of accepted providers were Comcast, AT&T, Mediacom, and Cable One. Charter signaled in a blog post Thursday (April 1) that it will also be participating.

The money can also go to a one-time $100 discount on a computer or tablet, but not cell phones.

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Eligible households are ones that participate in a low-income pandemic relief program offered by an ISP, or with kids on a free or reduced lunch program, or current Lifeline subs, or those on Medicaid, Pell grant recipients and those who have reduced income due to lost jobs.

The FCC got a lot of help in deciding how to spend the $3.2 billion EBB set-aside contained in a December COVID-19 relief bill.