The Federal Communications Commission approved a new broadband subsidy program to help low-income households pay for internet service during the pandemic.
The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program gives up to $50 per month in credit for internet bills to struggling families.
The program also provides families with $100 credit for a computer or tablet.
According to CNN Business, the FCC believes that as many as 21 million Americans are without high-speed internet. Jessica Rosenworcel, acting FCC chairwoman, says the signups for benefits will begin within the next 60 days.
“This is a program that will help those at risk of digital disconnection,” Rosenworcel said. “It will help those sitting in cars in parking lots just to catch a Wi-Fi signal to go online for work. It will help those lingering outside the library with a laptop just to get a wireless signal for remote learning. It will help those who worry about choosing between paying a broadband bill and paying rent or buying groceries.”
Those eligible for the program are households who receive food stamps, are on medicare, or have received a Pell Grant. Those that have lost their job during the pandemic are also eligible.