FCC Seeks Input on Providing Broadband Service and Devices to Low-Income Households
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking to provide broadband service and devices to low-income households. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 directed the FCC to create the program, which would reimburse participating companies for providing discounted broadband service and connected devices to eligible households during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will pay up to $50 for a broadband connection per qualifying household. On Tribal lands, that monthly discount may be up to $75 per month. The program will also purchase a device (such as a phone, laptop, or tablet) to connect to the Internet up to $100 of the cost of the device so long as the household contributes no less than $10 and no more than $50 for the device. Participating providers will receive reimbursement from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program for the discounts provided.
In structuring the program, the Commission seeks input on a range of
- Which providers can participate in the program and what do such providers need to do to elect to participate?
- How should the Commission set up an expedited process for approving broadband
providers for areas where they are not eligible telecommunications carriers?
- How should the Commission and providers track participating households and verify that they are eligible?
- What services and connected devices are eligible for reimbursement from the program?
- How should the Commission structure the reimbursement process?
- What rules are needed to ensure appropriate service on Tribal lands?
- How should the Commission and participating providers promote awareness of the program?
- What requirements are needed for robust auditing and enforcement of federal rules?
- What reporting requirements are needed both during the program and at its conclusion?
Learn more about this request for comment (select your preference of Word, PDF or Txt for each document).
Comments are due by February 16.
How to Submit Your Comments
All filings should refer to WC Docket No. 20-445. Filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. Comments may be filed by paper or by using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).
Comments and replies may be filed electronically via ECFS.
Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 45 L St, NE, Washington, DC 20554.
People with Disabilities.
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (tty).