Jenniffer Gonzalez announces federal benefits for low income households to have access to broadband internet service
San Juan, Puerto Rico. – Low income households in Puerto Rico can now count on extra federal aid that will grant discounts on broadband internet service during the pandemic starting on May 12, 2021, announced resident commissioner Jennifer González-Colón.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program could grant monthly discounts in internet service from $50 to $75 and up to $100 in a singular discount for the purchase of electronic equipment.
“Finally, our households in Puerto Rico may apply to this federal benefit, additional help to be able to access and cover the cost of internet service during the pandemic. This will be of great help to households with children taking classes remotely, our university students, and other eligible users by granting better resources for access to education. I thank engineer Serna from the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Bureau for being in contact and ready to get this program running on the island with the providers”, said the resident commissioner.
“Starting this next May 12, eligible households and consumers can subscribe to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to receive a discount or monthly subsidy on the cost of internet service as provided by a participating provider. Without a doubt, this aid will benefit those who work remotely, students, and families wishing to stay connected during the pandemic”, said the president of the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Bureau, Ian Carlos Serna.
The NET president, who has participated in meetings and conferences concerning the launch of this program, emphasized that the FCC is starting the program to provide broadband internet access in this emergency. He mentioned that the program also includes university students who receive Pell grants.
Serna mentioned that, in Puerto Rico, the companies that have subscribed to the program and are eligible providers are Liberty, Claro, T-Mobile, Aeronet Wireless, Neptuno, Optico Fiber, Skynet Wireless, Boost Mobile, and more.
If your household is eligible, you can receive:
Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
Your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if it has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR any member of the household:
Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
Received approval for 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; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.
Those interested in applying can do so online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org after May 12, 2021 and sending the completed application form in English or Spanish along with proof of eligibility to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
You can also contact any eligible provider to locate a participating company in your area. To see the full list of participating providers in Puerto Rico, acces this link: https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers#Puerto%20Rico