Program can help Vermonters save money on high-speed internet

AARP Vermont encourages residents who are without access to high-speed internet, or struggling to afford it, to look into the recently launched Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.

The EBB is a $3.2 billion Federal Communications Commission program to help make more affordable the high-speed internet people need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has shown our reliance on high-speed internet,” said AARP Vermont State Director Greg Marchildon, who cited some examples: “telehealth, students learning remotely, and loved ones staying connected with family members by video.”

Under this short-term program, Vermont residents may be eligible for a discount on their high-speed internet service of up to $50 per month for high-speed internet services, and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.

Residents may be eligible for the EBB if they:

• Qualify for the Lifeline program or participate in certain federal assistance programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI benefits;

• Experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;

• Meet the criteria for a participating internet provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Eligible households will enroll through participating broadband providers.

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