Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved an emergency subsidy program that will provide $50 monthly to low-income families or individuals who lost their jobs or had their income reduced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program also covers households on Native American land with $75 monthly for broadband services. Additionally, eligible homes will receive a one-time $100 discount for a computer or tablet.
The money is coming from the $3.2 billion Congress allocated last year as apart of their COVID-19 relief bill to assist residents with their new remote lifestyle.
Jessica Rosenworcel, the acting chairwoman of the FCC, said in a statement that the program would be open to eligible households within the next 60 days. “This is a program that will help those at risk of digital disconnection,” Rosenworcel said.
“It will help those sitting in cars in parking lots just to catch a Wi-Fi signal to go online for work. It will help those lingering outside the library with a laptop just to get a wireless signal for remote learning,” she added.
The FCC program will run as long as funds are available, and the demand might exceed the program’s funding. “There are two things to know about this program: One is that it’s very good it’s in place, and two, it’s definitely not enough,” said Phillip Lovell, vice president of policy development and government relations for Alliance for Excellent Education, a nonprofit that focuses on improving educational outcomes for high-school students.
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