Emergency Broadband Benefit

Department of Housing and Urban Development U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, DC 20410-5000
May 18, 2021

SUBJECT: Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Available to Assist with Affordable Internet Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Mr. Hagle,

I am pleased to let you know that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is available for all eligible households to apply for a subsidy that will assist them with affordable internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tribal EBB provides a discount of up to $75 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households may also be able to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 toward the purchase price.  

A household is eligible for the Tribal EBB if they live on tribal lands (includes any federally recognized Indian Tribe’s reservation, Pueblo, or colony, including former reservations in Oklahoma, Alaska Native regions, Hawaiian Home Lands, or Indian allotments), and a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

* Qualifies for Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance;
* Qualifies for Head Start;
* Qualifies for Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF);
* Qualifies for Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
* Has an income at or below 135% 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 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 Internet Service Provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Households eligible for Tribal EBB are also eligible for the FCC’s Tribal Lifeline program, including a discount of up to $34.25 off the cost of telephone service and broadband service. For more information, see the Consumer FAQ for Tribal EBB.

In order to participate, those living on tribal lands will need to provide a card, letter, or another document as proof of participation in one of the programs listed above when applying. 

Tribal members who live off tribal land may be eligible to apply for the EBB under the standard application, which provides a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and may provide a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase an eligible device.

Eligible households can enroll through an approved Internet Service Provider or by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

Here are three ways you can encourage eligible households in your community to enroll:

* Enroll online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org
* Connect directly with participating Internet Service Providers
* Download and print mail-in applications (in English or Spanish, with instructions available in 9 other languages, or you can call 833-511-0311 to receive applications in the mail)

Here are four resources you can use to promote the EBB in your community:
* Share EBB Outreach Materials
* Watch the FCC’s EBB Webinar
* Check out the EBB FAQ
* Share information about the Lifeline program, including Lifeline’s Additional Support for Tribal Lands, the Tribal Toolkit, Tribal Flyer, and a copy of the most recent Tribal Advocate Training on Lifeline’s Community Outreach webpage

Please check the EBB website, www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, for the latest information.

If you have questions about EBB, please send them to broadbandbenefit@fcc.gov.

I appreciate your help in raising tribal members’ awareness about this time-limited opportunity.   Sincerely,

Heidi J. Frechette
Heidi J. Frechette
Deputy Assistant Secretary
  for Native American Programs

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