Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Enrollment in Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Opens

 By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief Today marks the first day consumers can sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, a $3.2 billion subsidy program to help low-income households struggling with monthly broadband bills. Inside Towers reported yesterday that the FCC on Monday passed final rules to implement the EBB. On Tuesday, the FCC released an Order to implement the separate $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program that will provide devices and connectivity to schools and libraries for remote learning during the pandemic.

“This is a really big deal,” FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told reporters yesterday. She called both programs “the largest single effort” undertaken in the U.S. to help close the homework gap. 

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), instrumental in getting the program funding passed in the Senate, said: “No student should have to sit in a strip mall to do their homework. The pandemic made the digital divide even worse.” He said many schools are opening with hybrid models, so students’ need for connectivity at home “is not going away.” Continue Reading

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