The Emergency Broadband Benefit

Helping Households Connect During the Pandemic

Did you know? Your household may qualify for a temporary discount on broadband services. Piedmont Rural Fiber is proud to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program for qualifying households.

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)?

The EBB is a temporary government program funded by the FCC to help offset the cost of broadband services for eligible households during COVID-19. If your household is eligible, you can receive up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service. You can learn more, see if you qualify and apply for the program at getemergencybroadband.org. 

Please note: This is a temporary government program. When it ends, you will be responsible for the full cost of your broadband service. You will have the option to end or downgrade your service if you prefer.

Who will qualify for EBB funds?

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below: 

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Qualifies for SNAP, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, or SSI;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

It is up to the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to determine who qualifies. Learn more at getemergencybroadband.org. 

Can I receive both the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Lifeline benefits at the same time? 

Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

If I qualify, do I receive the funds directly each month?

No. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50/month on broadband service for eligible households while funds last. Piedmont Rural Fiber will receive the funds directly from the EBB program and the savings will be reflected in your statement.

Can I use EBB funds for a new device? 

No. Piedmont Rural Fiber is not participating in the “new device” option of the program and will not contribute discounts for new devices.

Can I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I have a past due balance? 

Yes, eligible customers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.

Can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past? 

Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers like Piedmont Rural Fiber.

How long will EBB funds last?

This is a short-term subsidy program. The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. When the program ends, you will be responsible for the full cost of service if you wish to continue using the same broadband service.

Visit getemergencybroadband.org to learn more and apply.