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Qualified Arkansas families can apply to get money for broadband, computers, tablets

The Arkansas Department of Commerce announced on Tuesday, May 11, a new program to increase broadband service for eligible households during the pandemic.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Department of Commerce announced on Tuesday, May 11, a new program to increase broadband service for eligible households during the pandemic.

The temporary benefit named the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that will lower the code of broadband services.

The $3.2 billion EBB program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households or qualifying Tribal lands.

The program also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

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

  • Has an income that is at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

For more information on the EBB program, click here.