Low-income households can now apply for a $ 50 monthly Internet discount.

Millions of low-income Americans became eligible Wednesday for an emergency discount on high-speed Internet service and devices to connect, an effort aimed at bringing relief to families who have struggled through the pandemic as the school , work and healthcare have moved online. .

The Federal Communications Commission’s grant program, the Emergency Broadband Benefit, can be used to earn $ 50 monthly discounts for people with SNAP or Medicaid, Pell grant recipients, and families with children on free lunch plans or reduced price. Low-income households on tribal lands can apply for $ 75 in monthly broadband subsidies. The program also allows a one-time $ 100 grant for a laptop or tablet.

The FCC said 825 broadband providers agreed to offer the discounts.

The program, which Congress approved $ 3.2 billion by the end of last year, is one of several efforts to bring broadband Internet to every American home. The FCC earlier this week also approved a $ 7.2 billion program to provide students with high-speed Internet access through schools and libraries. President Biden has promised to make broadband affordable and available to all and has proposed a $ 100 billion effort to connect every rural and low-income household to high-speed Internet service.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is late in the pandemic, and schools and workplaces begin to reopen. The delay was due in large part to disputes over the details of subsidies in Congress and at the FCC during the Trump administration. And it’s unclear what will happen once the one-time emergency benefit fund is depleted.

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