Federal assistance available to help pay for internet

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FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. The U.S. internet won’t get overloaded by spikes in traffic from the millions of Americans now working from home to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus, experts say. But connections could stumble for many if too many family members try to videoconference at the same time. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The Federal Communication Commission has released its plans for a program designed to help people pay for internet.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will provide monthly subsidies to help Americans cover the cost of their internet service provider. The program will be available for signups starting May 12.

The discount can be up to $50 a month to help cover internet service and a one-time $100 discount is available to help those purchasing a computer, laptop, or tablet.

The benefit is open to households that participate in and current low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or receive SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; or those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year. Visit Do I Qualify for a full list of qualifications.

There are over 750 participating companies including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Comcast.

To apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit visit their website.

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