Monday, Oct. 03, 2022|
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Hawaii households may be eligible for up to $75 a month for internet service under a federal assistance program.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a project by the Federal Communications Commission to assist households struggling to afford reliable internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the program, households can receive up to $50 a month toward broadband service from participating providers, although households on Hawaiian Home Lands can receive up to $75 a month. Households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet.
A household qualifies for the program if at least one member qualifies for the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the FCC Lifeline program. Households where a member received benefits under the state’s free and reduced school meals program or filed for unemployment or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or experienced a decrease of hours in the last year, are also eligible.
Participating providers in Hawaii include Aloha Broadband, AT&T, Charter Spectrum, American Broadband, Cricket Wireless, Hawaii Dialogix Telecom, Hawaiian Telcom, T-Mobile, Verizon, PCsforPeople and Selectel Wireless.
Burt Lum, broadband strategy officer for the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, said the nationwide program will disburse $3.2 billion across all participating states, so eligible households should apply as soon as possible.
Funding for the program is expected to run out after about four months, although Lum said there are other federal programs that may extend the project.
Households can apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org or call (833) 511-0311 for a mail-in application, which can be mailed to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081 London, KY 40742.
Applicants can also apply through their participating internet service provider.
See Thursday’s issue for more details.
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