So, what is the Emergency Broadband Benefit-free tablet? Why did the government set the EBB program in place? Well, unless you are living under a rock, you know that basically the entire world has been deeply affected by the pandemic at the beginning of 2020. This event changed things a lot as one of the safety measures included lockdowns. With that on the horizon, people turned to the online world for a solution like never before. As such, basically over the night having an electronic device with internet access for essential.
Since there were still many people without proper internet access, many telecommunication service providers stepped up to offer a special deal. Of course, even the government created several programs offering support to those in more challenging positions. And the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is one of these programs.
Herein you will get all the information you need regarding the EBB, with a slight focus on Emergency Broadband free tablet options.
So, are you ready to dig in? Let’s do this.
How Does The Emergency Broadband Benefit Work?
As explained above, the Emergency Broadband Benefit program was set in place to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The program ensures that eligible households can connect to the online world and thus to their jobs, access healthcare services, attend online classes, and much more.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides Eligible households with a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service. Moreover, the discount can go up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. In addition, eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase an internet-enabled device, such as a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For the latter option, providers must be willing to contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
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Who Is Eligible For The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Free Tablet?
First, you need to know that the EBB is not necessarily the same as the Emergency Broadband Benefit program free tablet. Looking at the previous section, you can see that getting a free device, in this case, a tablet is an option, but not a given right. As such, the eligibility details listed above qualifies a household for the EBB and not necessarily for a free tablet as well. With that said, let’s take a closer look at who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
A family/household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
- 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;
- 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; or
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline.
How To Apply For An Emergency Broadband Benefit Tablet?
If you are familiar with the Lifeline Assistance program and have applied for it before, you will see that the EBB follows a similar application process. Applying for an Emergency Broadband Benefit tablet first requires you to apply and be approved for the EBB.
In order to get the EBB support, you need to apply for the program and also contact a participating provider to select a service plan and other details (including a potential free tablet or other devices).
Generally speaking, there are three ways for eligible households to apply:
- Applying Via a Participating Broadband Provider – You may contact a participating broadband provider directly. They will let you know about their application process. In case you are not able to apply through them directly, you will have to apply using option one of the two options below first. Then you will still need to contact a participating provider to select an eligible plan.
- Using GetEmergencyBroadband.org – A second option to apply for the EBB is offered via getemergencybroadband.org. There you may apply online. Moreover, this site also enables you to locate participating providers near your location. After you apply, you will need to contact a participating provider and select a plan that suits your needs.
- Apply via mail – In case you prefer to apply via mail, you need to call 833-511-0311 and request a mail-in application. If you have an option to print it out, you may use this link (getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply). Then fill the application out and attach all the necessary copies of proof documentation. Send the package to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742. If eligible, you will receive a notice that you have qualified for the program. Then you must contact a participating provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.
Read one of our past articles How To Get Free Tablet From Government 2021
How Can States Support EBB Sign Ups?
The EBB program is available all across the USA. However, your exact choices depend on the number of providers that participate in the program. This is where states can offer a stimulating environment. By offering some benefits to providers that decide to take part in the program, they ensure that customers (eligible households) are provided with a decent number of options. That way you can choose the one that best suits your needs and has a plan that covers you perfectly.
Moreover, states can ensure that people are properly informed and guided to ensure that all those in need of an internet connection get EBB support.
How Can School Districts Help Their Families Get Signed Up
Students are the ones that need online access to attend online classes and thus continue their education. As such, it is important that school districts provide guidance and assistance with application to those in need. They need to ensure that potentially eligible households are informed about the EBB program and directed in the proper direction to apply as soon as possible.
Which Areas Are Covered By Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Generally speaking, the EBB program is available all across the USA. However, the exact availability depends on the providers participating in your region. As such, you need to check for available broadband providers that participate in the program in advance. You can do this easily online (https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers).
Which Tablets Are Available Free Of Cost Under The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
There is no specific tablet model set for the EBB program. It is completely up to a particular provider to decide whether or not it will offer free devices and if yes, which device this will be. If getting a free tablet is your priority, you need to ensure to check with all participating providers in your areas and see which ones offer free tablets.
Which Broadband Providers Are Participating In The Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The list of the broadband providers that participate in the EBB program is extremely extensive. As such, we will not list them here. Luckily, there is a much simpler way to find the EBB participating providers in your area. Simply use this link (fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers). Once on the webpage, click your state and you will be able to view all providers. Moreover, you will also see which ones are offering Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablets or other devices. Then click the carriers you like and proceed with the enrollment or application in case you haven’t applied yet.
Does My EBB Free Tablet Come With A Warranty?
For all details regarding free or discounted devices that you attain through your EBB benefits, you need to turn to your provider. Generally speaking, tablets should come with some sort of warranty but details may vary greatly.
What Other Benefits Does The EBB Program Provide?
As already listed in the “How Does The Emergency Broadband Benefit Work?” section, let’s look at the benefits once again:
- a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households;
- a discount of up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands;
- eligible households can also 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 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
How Long Will The EBB Last? What Happens After The EBB Program Ends?
The exact period in which the EBB will be available is not known yet. However, you need to keep in mind that the EBB Program is temporary unless Congress chooses to further extend the program. The EBB program was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will end once the program funds are exhausted or 6 months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first. Moreover, providers must give participants at least 30 days’ notice before the termination of the EBB Program so that participating households have time to decide whether to “opt-in” to continuing service.
If you need information on how to get a free iPhone read one of our past articles Can I Get a Free iPhone Without Scam?
Emergency Broadband Benefit Others Thing You Should Know
What if the tablet I received is damaged in transit?
In that case, you bear no responsibility and you shall receive a replacement tablet.
How are Lifeline and the EBB different?
The benefits that come with EBB are much greater. The latter focuses particularly on the broadband providers and offers greater discounts. Lifeline comes in form of a $9.25 per month discount, while the EBB is up to $50 per month.
Does T-Mobile offer EBBP?
Yes. You can visit this link (https://www.t-mobile.com/customers/emergency-broadband-benefit) for all the details regarding the EBB offered by T-Mobile.
Can existing Lifeline Subscribers apply?
Yes. Lifeline and EBB are not mutually exclusive. You can benefit from both programs at the same time.
If I already receive Lifeline benefits will I automatically receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
No, it doesn’t work that way. The application process for the EBB is not the same as for the Lifeline Assistance. As such, you need to apply yourself.
Can I choose my EBB provider?
Yes. As a customer, you have the right to choose the provider that best suits your needs. However, keep in mind that the number of available option vary from region to region. Typically, greater cities have more options. There may be some remote areas where only one provider is available. In this situation, you will not have a lot of options.
How much does this package cost when funding ends?
This is not something we can tell you in advance. The packages/plans vary greatly and it is up to providers. Luckily, you will be informed well in advance when the support will be closing its end so you will have the time to decide whether you will continue using the services in question.
Can I use the benefit to cover a multi-month internet package?
The benefits are on the monthly basis and yes, they can be used for multiple months (as long as the program is active).
Can government agencies enroll qualified households?
There are three ways to apply (please see the “How To Apply For an Emergency Broadband Benefit Tablet?” section). Each of the three options includes you choosing a provider and enrolling.
Can families access the EBBP?
The EBB support work on a ‘per household’ basis. As such, a family that shares a household can enjoy free broadband internet connectivity.