County reminds people of federal internet discount program

Conaughton Concert

San Diego County Communications Office

The county is reminding the public of the Dec. 31 deadline for low-income residents and families to apply for discounted high-speed internet service through the Federal Communications Commission.

Eligible residents and families who apply by December 31 can receive Federal Communications Commission broadband internet discounts through March 2022 through local providers – up to $ 50 per month for households and $ 75 per month on eligible tribal lands.

The FCC created its Emergency Broadband Service Rebate Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic to help eligible residents and families connect or stay connected to high-speed internet service. The program is replaced in March 2022 by a new FAC rebate program.

For general program information and links to relevant websites, be sure to go to the FCC Broadband Emergency Benefits website, https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit. FCC officials have warned the public that a fraudulent website is falsely offering to enroll in the program to collect information about people.

How to register

Registration is a two-step process.

1. First, go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to print an application by mail or submit an application online.

2. Contact your preferred participating provider to select an eligible plan and apply the discount to your bill.

Note: Eligible households must apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a high speed Internet program.

Who is eligible?

A household is eligible if a household member meets one of the following criteria:

● Has an income equal to or less than 135% of federal poverty guidelines, or who participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP (Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program), Medicaid or Lifeline, the Lifeline Support for Affordable program FCC Communications

● Is approved to receive benefits under the Free and Discounted School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision during the year school 2019-2020, 2020-2021 or 2021-2022

● Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year

● Has experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or leave since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 equal to or less than $ 99,000 for single filers and 198,000 $ for joint filers; Where

● Meets the eligibility criteria of a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

It is important for the County to ensure that all residents of San Diegan have access to high speed internet. The county is a member of the San Diego Government Association’s Regional Digital Divide Task Force and is working on a plan to develop broader high-speed internet infrastructure in unincorporated areas. County supervisors also voted unanimously in May to commit up to $ 1.4 million to a SANDAG / Caltrans project to extend fiber-optic cable along National Highway 67.

For more information on the program, visit https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.


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