HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige held a news conference on Wednesday to announce a new federal program that will help Hawaii families afford internet services and device purchases.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a FCC program, is helping households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Get Hawaii’s latest news sent to your inbox, click here to subscribe to News 2 You, a daily newsletter.
The $3.2 billion program is a nationwide pool that all 50 states can apply for, and the money is estimated to last four to six months.
Eligible households can receive up to $50 a month towards broadband service and up to $75 for households on Hawaiian Home Lands.
Eligible households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating Hawaii internet service providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who is eligible for the EBB program?
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- 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 due to 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.
When and how can I sign up?
Eligible households will be able to enroll in the program beginning May 12.
You can apply for the program in three ways:
- Contact your internet service provider directly to learn about their application process and what benefits they will offer.
- Apply online at here.
- Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application and mail it with your proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081 London, KY 40742
Which broadband providers are participating?
Click here to find the list of participating Hawaii internet service providers.
Broadband providers can find more information about how to participate here.