People in many parts of America have been suffering from a financial crisis since this pandemic. It is because of the emergency that forced many jobs and businesses to close temporarily or permanently. During the emergency, millions of American households had to remain in their homes for months. Ultimately, there was no other option but to stay online through high-speed internet to accomplish everything. Nonetheless, low-income families have been having difficulty collecting and paying their monthly internet bills.
However, the Federal Government stepped forward to help those who have lost their jobs due to the shutdown. To help people access high-speed internet and use smartphones and tablets, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established a $3.2 billion fund. For those low-income households, FCC has launched this temporary program named Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. It also focuses on tribal lands and remote areas. Being a temporary program, EBB will last for around six months and will end when the health department lifts the emergency. A household is only eligible to receive one benefit, however.
As EarthLink aims to provide a great internet experience, it uses all the technology resources available to provide unlimited data, texts, and calls to eligible customers. You will discover detailed information about EBB program here and how you can experience it through EarthLink.
About EarthLink EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) Program
The FCC planned the EBB and sought support from internet service providers across the country. EarthLink is one of the 875 providers who have been working as participant providers. EarthLink joined this program immediately after the FCC announced the initiative. The FCC’s emergency broadband program provides temporary service to households unable to pay high-speed internet bills. EarthLink began its involvement with the Government’s EBB program by helping eligible households continue their livelihoods virtually. This benefit is open to anyone, but there are some Terms and Conditions that must be met. Eligible households will receive a discount of up to $50 per month using EarthLink internet service with the EBB program $75 per month on Tribal lands. New and existing EarthLink users can take advantage of this program.
USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company), a third party, determines the applicant’s eligibility via the National Verifier. This process goes through the national servers and checks the information and documents provided by applicants. Eventually, it checks the applicant’s citizenship as American and then determines whether the household is eligible to get the benefit or not. Then you will have to choose the internet provider and contact them. In this case, EarthLink would be a fantastic option since it is already known for its high-speed and uninterruptible internet service. Please note that the EBB program is non-transferable and only allows one discount per household. Besides, FCC will close this temporary program when the fund of $3.2 billion finishes. But it will exist for at least six months.
EarthLink is a nationwide internet service provider which also offers premium email, data security, web hosting, and security throughout America. Headquartered in Atlanta, EarthLink has technological and business partnerships with other top-ranked providers to offer more enhanced products and support to millions of households across the country. Being the service provider to both homes and businesses, EarthLink offers secure and reliable access without credit checks. Since its foundation in 1994, EarthLink has been offering high-speed internet to customers which now have coverage across 48 states. Since the foundation, EarthLink has been improving toward technology, ideas, and innovation. EarthLink’s team, which continuously strives to provide a great internet experience for clients, has been named a Great Place to Work for the past two years.
Who is Eligible for EarthLink EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) Program?
Although the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a per household program, the interesting part is that any member of a household can get the benefit by qualifying any of the criteria. As a result, any household member meeting any FCC criteria can receive the $50 benefit. So, to get the monthly internet discount, find out if any of your household members meet any of these FCC criteria:
- Is your total income less than 135% of the federal poverty guidelines? If so, you will be eligible for EBB.
- If there is a membership of Lifeline programs in your household then it will determine your EBB eligibility. Other Government assistant programs determine EBB eligibility also. Among them are Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Federal Public Housing Assistance, and Veterans Survivors Pension.
- The applicant’s household members must have received free or reduced-price meals in the last 12 months.
- The recipient of a Federal Pell Grant in the current year.
- According to the FCC, anyone who was furloughed or terminated from their job since February 29 of 2020 is eligible to apply. A single filer whose total income is below or equal to $99,000 will be considered eligible by the FCC. If joint filers have a combined income of less than $198,000, the household will qualify for EarthLink EBB program.
- COVID-19 front-liner is another eligibility for the EBB.
There are other criteria you can find on this page www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit. You must submit all necessary documentation to the National Verifier as part of the eligibility process.
How to Apply For The EarthLink EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) program?
EarthLink EBB program allows households to use high-speed internet at affordable monthly bills. It is almost free for some low-income households since the $50 subsidy is enough to cover the monthly bill. So, you have to go through the proper procedure to get this benefit. You can enroll in EarthLink’s EBB emergency broadband program by following these steps.
STEP 1: Check your eligibility status-
This is the mandatory step for everyone where you have to fill out the National Verifier eligibility form. The National Verifier will check all your information to find out if you qualify for the EBB program. You can proceed to the next step only when you pass this step. Here is the link to apply www.checklifeline.org/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true
STEP 2: Get Connected-
After getting the eligibility confirmation from the National Verifier, you have to call EarthLink and talk to customer care at 833-787-2118 to select your plan. Here you will have to submit your National Verifier ID. If you are a new customer of EarthLink then schedule your installation.
STEP 3: Continue to save on your bill-
Verify usage by responding “Yes” to EarthLink’s automated outreach that confirms that you are opting for the EarthLink EBB service.
After completing all three steps, you will get a notification via email within 48 hours of the application.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
If I already have a lifeline membership, do I have to give it up to receive the EBB?
The answer is No. It’s a blessing that you can enjoy both programs at a time. It means if anyone from your household gets Lifeline benefit and enrolls in the EarthLink EBB program then as per the FCC rule the household can enjoy both benefits simultaneously.
Can I choose my EBB provider?
It’s open for the household. You can choose any operator out of 875 participant providers who have been providing the internet with discounts. In that case, you can add your discount benefit to your existing provider account only if the company is enlisted from the FCC. You can choose EarthLink as your EBB provider because they have services in around 48 states.
Can I switch my EBB provider?
Yes, you can. You can change your current EBB provider to a new one. But make sure the new provider also offers EBB to the households. EarthLink welcomes any household to join its EBB program and enjoy the monthly $50 benefit. Please note that the FCC does not allow household transfer anyway. This means, you can’t transfer your EBB benefit to another household.
When will the EarthLink EBB end?
Since the EBB program is a temporary benefit program, EarthLink will follow the FCC order on the program duration. But it is confirmed that FCC will stop providing the subsidy when the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares the end of the pandemic emergency. EarthLink will also follow the FCC order but will notify the EBB beneficiaries before it ends.
Does EarthLink require any installation fees?
There is no contract with EarthLink. Because there is no contractual obligation, there is no hassle to deal with. EarthLink does not charge any extra fees or activation fees. There are neither any credit checks nor any internet data caps song with the discount.
Now, reliable and high-speed internet is the most essential part of your everyday life and business. Though the pandemic has interrupted our moving world, it boosted the use of the internet to a new dimension. The good part is that the Federal Governments EBB program has been helping to eliminate the digital divide. In this way with $50 discount, those people can at least maintain their jobs virtually or find new ones, family members can take online health services, and students can attend classrooms virtually, and deal with other daily virtual needs. EarthLink has been marching toward the digital goal successfully since its inception. Now EBB is another milestone of commitment that it has been providing its customers successfully.