Governor Polis, State Agencies Partner to Help Coloradans Take Advantage of Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The $3.2 billion federal program provides discounts to consumers until funding runs out
DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis and several state agencies have partnered to help Coloradans access the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. The $3.2 billion EBB Program will help qualifying households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic by providing a discount of up to $50 per month—or $75 per month for those qualifying households on Tribal lands—toward the cost of broadband service, including a $100 benefit toward the purchase of a connected device.
“A key part of powering the comeback includes access to affordable, quality broadband for every Coloradan in our state. This has been a challenging year, and reliable internet has been essential for connecting to work, school, health care, and countless other services,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We’re thrilled that these resources are available to Coloradans, and we want to make sure that everyone is empowered with fast online access to a world of information and opportunity.”
The application is expected to open later this week, but the State is encouraging Coloradans to check if they qualify and be prepared to apply in advance since the program is temporary and will conclude either when the fund runs out of money or six months after the federal Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.
“Every day we see broadband’s impact on Coloradans’ lives as we work to expand coverage for communities across Colorado,” said Antonio Martinez, Executive Director of the Colorado Broadband Office. “Although this benefit may be temporary, we know it has the potential to positively affect residents’ quality of life during a difficult time.”
If one or more individuals in a household meet at least one of the criteria listed below, the household may qualify for the EBB Program:
Qualify for the FCC's existing Lifeline program
Receive benefits under a free and reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program
Lost employment or experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020
Is a student who receives a Federal Pell Grant
Meets the eligibility criteria for your participating internet service provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program
Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
The FCC has scheduled an April 27 public webinar to provide consumers and outreach partners with information around eligibility and enrollment procedures, and give an overview of outreach toolkit materials to generate awareness about the program. The webinar, which is slated to begin at 1 p.m. MDT, will be webstreamed at www.fcc.gov/live. Registration is not required. Learn more about the EBB Program at getemergencybroadband.org/.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Broadband Office, Office of eHealth Innovation, and Colorado Department of Education are partnering with Governor Polis to share this opportunity with residents. Find the list of participating broadband providers in Colorado here. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you at a community organization looking to create awareness? Please share this Emergency Broadband Benefit Program flyer.