Amidst the pandemic, FCC has approved $50 broadband subsidy to help bridge the digital divide.

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The federal programme, worth $3.2 billion, is the largest of its kind.

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to set up a programme intended to help reduce the cost of high-speed Internet for those struggling to get access. It is the country’s largest-ever initiative aimed at assisting households in affording high-speed Internet connectivity, and it is scheduled to go into operation within the next 60 days.

The Emergency Broadband Relief Program is a $3.2 billion federal programme that will provide qualifying households with monthly broadband service discounts of up to $50. A $75 monthly discount could be available for those residing on tribal lands, the FCC said in its announcement.

The initiative would also include the purchasing of a computer or tablet with a one-time discount of up to $100 for qualifying households.

Households who are already participating in existing low-income or pandemic assistance services, Lifeline subscribers, those on Medicaid or SNAP insurance, families with children seeking free or reduced-price lunch or school breakfast, Pell Grant recipients, and those that have lost work and had their income reduced in the previous year will be eligible for the new relief programme.

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According to The New York Times, the program will be funded with money allocated by Congress last year as part of its pandemic relief bill.

Image credit Nach-Noth, Casimiro PT

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