What Is The Cox Communication Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
To fully understand what the Cox Communication Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is, we must first understand what the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is and what Cox Communication is.
Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a federal aid program by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that was announced and launched in 2021 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband services for qualifying low-income households. Eligible households who are having trouble paying for their internet services due to the financial crisis created (or worsened) by the pandemic, can receive up to a $50 (or $75 on Tribal lands) a month discount on broadband services and related equipment rentals and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet (with a co-payment of over $10 and less than $50).
Note: Only one monthly service discount and one device discount are available per household. In addition, as the program is temporary (unlike the permanent Lifeline program), it will end when they run out of funds or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares the end to the pandemic (whichever comes sooner).
Cox Communications is an American digital cable television provider, a telecommunication service provider, and one of the many internet service providers that participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.
As an EBB provider, Cox Communications offers a $50 discount on the monthly internet services to all eligible households or a $75 monthly discount for eligible households on Tribal lands, including equipment costs. Cox doesn’t offer a one-time discount of up to $100 for purchasing a computer, laptop, or tablet, however, they do partner with Pcs for People, a computer distribution company for low-income people, which may help get you a device. Cox EBB program is designed to help low-income people get access to affordable internet services and thus help them stay connected to their family members, jobs, education, and emergency services. The Cox EBB program is open to all Americans, however, only eligible households may receive the discount. To see which households are eligible and how to enroll and apply for the Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit, keep reading.
But first, let’s review how Cox’s EBB program works.
Eligible customers get an up to $50 (or $75 on Tribal lands) discount off their monthly internet service bill and equipment rental. To receive this benefit, you must verify that you are EBB eligible and apply. Once you’re approved for the program, you will receive a monthly
How to Enroll in Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
In order to enroll in Cox EBB program, you must be EBB eligible.
In case you are already a Cox Communications customer and if you either have Cox Connect2Compete Internet or Lifeline Phone plus internet, you are likely EBB eligible.
However, your eligibility doesn’t depend on Cox Communications but the FCC, as they are the ones who have designed eligibility criteria that is universal for all EBB providers.
You are EBB eligible in case any of the things below is true for you or any other member of your household:
- If your household has suffered a loss of income due to furlough or unemployment.
- If your household experienced unemployment filing during the Covid pandemic since February 29th, 2020. FCC considers eligible those households that have a total household income below $99,000 as single filers or below $198,000 as joint filers.
- If your household income is 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines. That is approximately $35,000 for a family consisting of four members.
- If your household is enrolled in any other eligible government assistance program, such as the following:
- Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
- Free or Reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Head Start
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
- Any of the programs listed above
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
- If your household is a Pell Grant recipient for the current academic year.
- Lastly, if you are a recipient of the Lifeline program, you have the best chance of getting Cox EBB, as Lifeline members are not required to do an eligibility check. Instead, they can simply apply for the program.
How to Apply for The Cox Communications Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Applying for the Cox Communications Emergency Broadband Benefit program is simple. All you have to do is follow the easy steps below.
- Step 1: Contact the Cox Communications company. First, you have to become a Cox Communications customer and choose an EBB plan. Before you can apply, you must also make sure that Cox is available in your state of residence (unfortunately, they are not available in all U.S. states – currently they offer their services in 18 states).
- Step 2: Check your eligibility. Before you can apply for Cox EBB, you must make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria. You will have to provide certain information and documents to the National Verifier and they will inform you whether or not you are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The verification process is executed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). You will receive your eligibility confirmation in a matter of minutes. If you are eligible, you will be able to apply for the program at any provider, including Cox Communications.
- Step 3 (option A): Apply online. If it turns out that you are EBB-eligible and once you get the confirmation from the National Verifier, you will be able to apply for the Cox EBB program. One way to do so is online. To do so, visit getemergencybroadband.org. There, you will be asked to provide some personal details, such as your name, date of birth, social security number, etc. In addition, you will be required to attach some documents to prove your eligibility based on your criteria.
- Step 3 (option B): Apply via mail. In case you are not accustomed to doing things online, you can also apply via the mail-in application. To do so, call 833-511-0311. You will get a printed form, which you will be required to fill out and to add the necessary documentation. Once you have gathered all of the information, submit all the paperwork to the following address:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY, 40742
- Step 4: Get approved. After you have applied for the EBB program (either online or via mail), it will take a couple of days for them to review the application and complete the process. If it turns out that you qualify for Cox EBB, Cox will contact you and ask you which plan you want to have. They may all ask you some other questions or to provide some additional documents. You can communicate with them via e-mail or call them if you have any questions.
Read more about the Cox EBB application at cox.com/residential/internet/ebb.html.
What Documentation Do I Need to Qualify for The Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
First of all, Cox may ask you to verify your identity using your mobile phone number and your date of birth or by uploading your driver’s license, state ID card, or passport. In addition, you may be required to provide proof of income, unemployment, or participation in any of the qualifying government assistance programs, depending on your eligibility criteria.
The documents that you might have to provide to verify your identity include:
- Social security number
- Driver’s license
- State ID card
- Taxpayer Identification Number (individual) with name and date of birth
The documents that you may be required to provide in order to prove your eligibility include:
- Current income statement
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General assistance (SNAP, Medicaid, etc.)
- Free or reduced school meal award letter
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Recent Tribal TANF letter or card. Current BIA card
- Tax return in 2019 or 2020
- Unemployment statements
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Other documents that prove that your household income is 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines.
- A document that proves that you (or another member of your household) are a Pell Grant recipient for the current academic year.
- Other documents that prove your participation in a qualifying government assistance program.
Note: In order to prevent delays in processing your application, make sure that the documents show your full name and your full address (which must match your service address) clearly.
Also make sure to only provide copies of the documents, which you can make using a copy machine, scanner, a camera, or a smartphone, and to never ever provide original documents.
How Do I Know if I Am Eligible for The Cox Communication EBB Program?
As mentioned before, to be eligible for the Cox Communication EBB program, you must meet the FCC’s eligibility criteria. You can either be eligible based on income, unemployment, loss of income, Pell Grant award, or participation in one of the qualifying government assistance programs, such as Medicaid and SNAP. You are also eligible if you are a Lifeline member. See the full eligibility criteria in the ‘How to Enroll to Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?’ section.
To know whether or not you are EBB eligible for sure, you can also check your eligibility through the National Verifier. You will simply be asked to provide certain information and documentation that may prove your Emergency Broadband Benefit eligibility. After providing all the necessary info, you will receive your eligibility confirmation in a matter of minutes. Once verified eligible, you will be able to apply for the program at any provider, including Cox Communications.
What Are The Benefits if I Am Qualified for The Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit?
In case you are qualified for the Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit, you will receive a number of great benefits. The benefits are:
- Each eligible household that applies for Cox EBB and has an active Cox internet service will receive up to $50 off their monthly bill based on their current internet service and equipment rental.
- Eligible households on Tribal lands will be able to receive a monthly discount of up to $75.
Getting this discount also results in many other benefits, including:
- Being able to afford internet service even if you have a low income or are unemployed.
- Being able to stay connected with friends, family members, and other loved ones.
- Being able to stay in touch with work and/or to seek out better job opportunities.
- Being able to attend online classes and to pursue online education.
- Being able to stay in touch with emergency services in case you need them.
What Internet Plans/Speeds Qualify for the Program?
Any fixed or mobile broadband connection to an eligible household qualifies for Cox Communication’s Emergency Broadband Benefit.
Cox’s available internet plans include:
- Gigablast Package with 940 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Ultimate 500 Package with 500 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Ultimate Classic 300 Package with 300 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Preferred 150 Package with 150 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Essential 50 Package with 50 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Starter 25 Package with 25 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- Connect2Compete Package with 50 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
- ConnectAssist Package with 50 Mbps maximum download speed, 1.25 TB (1,280 GB) combine download and upload that costs $10 for each 50 GB block (max overage charge of $100 a month).
Read more about the plans at cox.com/aboutus/policies/speeds-and-data-plans.html.
What Is The Connected Device Benefit?
If they supply a connected device to a household, participating broadband service providers can be reimbursed up to $100. The household must pay more than $10 and less than $50 for the device. In order to take advantage of this benefit, it must be done through the customer’s participating broadband service provider and the customer must pay a part of the cost.
The device benefit or discount is limited to a desktop computer, a laptop, or a tablet. It cannot be used to acquire a cell phone or a ‘phablet’.
Due to Cox’s partnership with PCs for People, eligible households may be able to receive a one-time discount of $100 towards laptops or desktop computers, as PCs for People do not offer tablets. You can only receive a device while supplies last and when inventory is available.
Note: If you have been EBB approved and have purchased a connected device through another service provider, you will not be able to purchase another device with Cox.
How Do People Sign Up Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit Program When They Don’t Have an Internet Connection?
According to research, most low-income families own a mobile device and as Cox’s EBB application is optimized for mobile devices, applying is simple. Customers can also visit a public library to apply online or do so via mail. If you wish to apply visit cox.com/residential/internet/ebb.html.
What if I Have Other Services With Cox?
That’s no problem. Cox provides consolidated bills, which means that all your services are included on a single bill each month. All the services that are not EBB subsidized will stay the same and will have to be paid as they are today. The EBB subsidy will reflect as partial payment on the account.
What Is the Cox Tribal Benefit?
In case you live on Tribal land, you may qualify for a $75 (instead of $50) monthly discount based on your current internet service and equipment rental.
Can I Transfer Cox EBB Benefits to Another Person or Household?
No, Cox’s (or any other provider’s for that matter) EBB benefit is non-transferable. In addition, only one person per household can get an EBB discount and from only one EBB provider.
Can I Disconnect My Cox Service or Switch My EBB Provider?
Sure. If you have Cox’s EBB you can disconnect any time without paying early termination fees. In addition, you can transfer your EBB benefit from Cox to another participating provider at any time.
Do I Need to Actively Use My Cox Internet Service in Order to Receive the EBB Discount?
Yes. In case your EBB discount covers your entire monthly cost of internet service and modem rental, the federal government requires you to use it in order to keep the discount. Customers that subscribe to Connect2Compete, Starter, Essential, Preferred or Straight Up Internet are likely to fall into this category.
What Happens if I’m Approved to Receive the EBB Discount, but Don’t Use the Internet?
In case you don’t use the internet, you won’t receive your EBB discount that month. If you haven’t used your internet towards the end of the month, Cox will send you a reminder to start using it via email.
How Much Loss of Income Do I Need to Have to Qualify?
There is no specific amount set. You can qualify for EBB if you or another member of your household experienced a loss of income due to job loss after February 29, 2020, and if your household had a total income below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers in 2020. Keep in mind that during the application process you will be required to provide evidence of your loss of income (in case you qualify based on this criteria).
I’ve Already Qualified Through the Lifeline National Verifier – Why Do I Have to Apply Again?
As Cox has created their own easy online application, you don’t need to qualify through the Lifeline National Verifier as well. Doing so is optional if you wish to check whether or not you are eligible in the first place.
I’m a Nonprofit or School, How Do I Help Families Apply?
If you wish to help spread the word and help families apply, encourage them to apply at cox.com/ebb. Tell them that they can apply with a smartphone or at a public computer at a public library.
I Am Under 18 Years Old. Can I Participate in the Cox Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Children under the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for the EBB program themselves (at any provider) unless the government has declared them an emancipated minor. If you are an emancipated minor, you will be required to provide proof.
My Address Was Not Recognized. What Do I Do Next?
In case your address was not recognized or if you experience any other difficulties or have more questions, contact Cox Communication at 866-439-1289.