FCC now counts 5M households getting subsidized broadband

The FCC said that over 5 million US households have enrolled in its Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

August 27, 2021

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON – FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced today that over five million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program since its launch in mid-May. Coinciding with this milestone, the agency also began releasing more granular enrollment data to inform its evolving awareness efforts, increase transparency in the program, and empower its outreach partners to better target awareness and enrollment efforts. The new data includes enrollee demographic information, such as age breakdown, eligibility category, type of broadband service, and enrollment numbers by five-digit Zip code area.

"Enrolling five million households into the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program in a little over three months is no small feat. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of nearly 30,000 individuals and organizations who signed up as volunteer outreach partners," said Rosenworcel. "I'm grateful for the tremendous work the agency and our partners across the country have spearheaded over the last few months. Through our analysis and conversations with partners, we heard the need for more granular data and today's data release provides us all new opportunities to target and engage eligible families who may qualify for EBB but haven't yet enrolled. Information is power. We're ready to put this new data to work."

To download five-digit Zip code Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment data, you can visit https://www.usac.org/about/emergency-broadband-benefit-program/emergency-broadband-benefit-program-enrollments-and-claims-tracker/. In addition to the new data released today, the EBB Data Dashboard contains information related to nationwide and state-specific enrollment figures, reports the amount of program funds disbursed as participating providers file reimbursement claims, and three-digit Zip code data the FCC started releasing in late June.

Households can qualify several ways for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program such as through their use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline or if a child received reduced-price school meals programs in the last two school years. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is also available to households who are eligible for a broadband provider's existing COVID relief program, to those who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, and to those low-income households who suffered a significant loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.

Over 1160 broadband providers have agreed to take part in the voluntary program. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.


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