The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting May 12, the Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
Families can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company using an online or mail-in application. All City Schools families are eligible to receive this benefit. We anticipate the program will provide up to 6 months of funding for families. Details associated with the program will be made available on this webpage. Additionally, families should look for updates via text message, robocall and email the week of May 12. Program details are available at getemergencybroadband.org.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides:
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
The FCC has $3.2 billion dollars available for this program. Based upon the need across the United States, it is estimated that all funds will be used in approximately 6 months. Families receiving the benefit will be informed by the provider
The program will end when the money runs out. A total of $3.2 billion dollars is available for this program. It is estimated that all funds will be used in approximately 6 months. After the program ends, households will need to opt-in to continue receiving services and they will be billed the provider's general monthly rate.
All City Schools households are eligible for this program benefit. This is due to City Schools meeting the conditions necessary so that all families are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch (Community Eligibility Provision). However, families should only obtain the benefit if a need exists around financial assistance for Internet access. The federal criteria guidelines for families that are not part of a school system in which all students receive free and reduced lunch are as follows:
We strongly encourage families that have access to either or both of these services to sign up for this program. Families that already have a City Schools issued hotspot can determine if virtual schooling needs are met with the services provided under this program. If a family determines that all Internet needs are being met with only the service provided by this program, we encourage you to return your hotspot. Families that have Comcast sponsored service (City Schools is paying the monthly cost for your service) that sign up for this program WILL NO LONGER receive financial support from City Schools.
No, the program is available to anyone that meets any of the following criteria:
families for each service provider. For the next couple of days, please visit the following websites. We will update this list as we receive more details from these companies and others.
Comcast - https://www.xfinity.com/hub/internet/ebb
While this program is for consumers only, City Schools will be livestreaming an information session from YouTube next Friday. Please visit this page on Friday to get all of the details. Additionally, we plan in the coming weeks to release more support resources for families so please visit this early next week for details.
Families can sign up for this program starting on May 12, 2021. We discourage you from signing up for service directly with the companies and strongly suggest that you do so only with the FCC online through the EBB Program website or by calling them directly at 833-511-0311 from 9 am - 9 pm 7 days a week. We are also advising families to wait until we are able to learn more about the different offers available to you from participating providers so we can provide better guidance. Please visit this website in the coming days for updates on guidance.
Get Connected utilizing our partnerships with Comcast and T-Mobile
City Schools has partnered with Comcast and T-Mobile to provide Internet access for families that need immediate connectivity. Families that do not have existing service in-home Internet service are eligible for either one hotspot or service from the Comcast Internet Essentials Program. However, if you are a family with three or more children enrolled with City Schools, both services are available and encouraged. Additional eligibility requirements apply to the Comcast service, please read below for further details.
City Schools will cover the costs of connectivity until September 30, 2021, for both existing families that already have service from the Comcast Internet Essentials program (Xfinity customers are ineligible) and new customers (subject to your address as a serviceable area by Comcast). Comcast offers this service only if you qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, or others.
Comcast Internet Essentials Family Guide
Please follow the instructions below:
City Schools will distribute a limited number of free wireless internet hotspots to traditional school students. The hotspots will provide unlimited 4G LTE services for up to 10 users simultaneously. Each family that needs access will be provided with one hotspot. Please contact your school to determine when you can pick up your hotspot.
When will I be responsible for the $9.95 charge per month?
City Schools will pay the $9.95 per month rate until September 30, 2021. Therefore, you will be required to pay the monthly service charge starting in October of 2021. Comcast will send you a monthly bill for service at the end of each month so your first bill will come at the end of October 2021.
Can I cancel the service at anytime?
You may cancel service with Comcast at any time. Please contact Comcast customer service directly to cancel service.
Should you decide to cancel service, please remember to follow the instructions given by Comcast to return all equipment. You will be financially responsible for any unreturned equipment.
Does the service include a content filter and what is a content filter?
The service provided by Comcast does not include a content filter. However, if your child is accessing the Internet from a district or school-issued computer, all inappropriate content will be blocked. For any personal devices, we encourage families to take steps to ensure that your children are not actively utilizing the Internet to access adult websites and inappropriate content. We will be creating additional resources and hosting live events in the coming weeks to help you understand how best to protect your children when they are online.
In the interim, please visit the following article which discusses net safety and make several actionable recommendations - https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/net-safety.html
Can I have both a hotspot from T-Mobile and service from Comcast?
Families with 3 or more children may obtain both a hotspot and have the Comcast Internet Essentials service paid for until September 30, 2021. For all other families, both services may not be combined.
Comcast told me that my address is not serviceable, now what?
If Comcast indicates that your address is not serviceable, please contact your home school (if you have more than one child, contact any of them). Please indicate that you attempted to obtain service from Comcast but your address was not serviceable. The school should then inform you when you may pick up a hotspot.
Can any City School family obtain a sponsor code and Internet Essentials?
No, the sponsor codes are reserved only for families that do not have high-speed Internet at home and cannot afford the monthly costs. Additionally, Comcast requires that any individual or family must have evidence of economic hardship. As a result, this service is only available if you qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, or others.
If you are unable to provide the necessary documentation to Comcast and need further assistance, please contact your local community school coordinator.