RALEIGH – More than 1 million households across the U.S. have already signed up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program – worth $50 a month toward internet bills – that was just announced a week ago.

“The high demand we’ve seen for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program demonstrates what many of us already knew to be true – too many families are struggling to get online, even in 2021.  Help is here.” said Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement. “As an agency, we’re continuing to focus our efforts on reaching as many communities as possible, so they can get the support they need.”

More than 900 broadband providers, including 45 providers operating across North Carolina, are participating in the program.

“Households in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa are benefitting from the subsidy program initiated by Congress,” the FCC said Thursday.

A spokesperson for the FCC noted that the program continues to accept enrollees and will continue to do so until the program concludes. North Carolinians may sign up by contacting a participating provider, enroll online at https://www.getemergencybroadband.org, or sign up via mail.

Here’s how $50-a-month Emergency Broadband Benefit works, how you can sign up if eligible

What households are eligible?

“Households can qualify several ways such as through their use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline or if a child relies on reduced-price school meals programs,” the FCC said.

“The Emergency Broadband Benefit is also available to households who are eligible for a broadband provider’s existing COVID relief program, to those who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, and to those low-income households who suffered a large loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.”


“The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was designed by Congress as a temporary measure in response to the pandemic, with Congress allocating $3.2 billion in funds to support it,” the FCC spokesperson told WRAL TechWire. “We recognize that funds will eventually run out, but enrolled households will receive advance warning when we foresee that end date approaching and will affirmatively have to opt-into continuing service with their EBB internet service provider.”