After months of advocacy last year, Congress adopted a $3.2 billion program to give low-income families and individuals a discount of $50 (and $75 on tribal land) per month off their broadband costs. The UCC’s media justice ministry is celebrating more than 2 million people who have already started to participate in a new federal program.
Here is how you can participate, or help others who might need it:
1. Use EBBhelp to learn if you’re eligible.
Families can qualify in many ways — do you use food stamps (SNAP)? Medicaid? Free or reduced school lunch? You qualify. There are many paths to qualifying and our friends at Media Justice have set up this great website EBBHelp.org to tell you whether you qualify and what documentation you need. (Some people are already pre-approved if they participate in particular programs.)
2. Apply using GetEmergencyBroadband.org
You can apply at the FCC first or pick a company first (some companies are assisting consumer in applying for the program).
Once you know if you qualify and what documentation you need, go to the Federal Communications Commission application website to apply:
3. Pick a broadband company.
You can apply at the FCC first or pick a company first. If you know what company you want to use, some companies are assisting consumer in applying for the program. Many name brand products are available. If you’re not sure what kind of product you need, ask a trusted and knowledgeable friend, a member of your faith community, a neighbor, a librarian to point you in the right direction. Here are a few resources to get started:
Get the word out!
Since the program is temporary, it is important for consumers to sign up right away before funding runs out. If you know of people in your neighborhood, your faith community, your local school who could use this help, please reach out to them.
The UCC’s media justice ministry worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to create a toolkit to publicize the program, and the FCC has resources too. It is up to you to care for your neighbor and share this information.
The United Church of Christ is a faith community rooted in justice. It established the Office of Communication, Inc. in 1959 as its ministry working to create just and equitable communications structures that give meaningful voice to diverse peoples, cultures and ideas. Learn more about UCC’s media justice ministry at www.uccmediajustice.org.