The application process for the emergency broadband benefit program, shortly known as the EBB, seems tiring to a lot of people. Unfortunately, they are misinformed. Both the application and the benefits of this plan are undoubtedly great.
Now you might be wondering, who can apply for the free laptop under EBB program? Well, Any US household may qualify for this if its gross yearly household income is less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You also need to be aware of a few other things, such as which states are eligible for this, how to acquire a free laptop through the EBB Program, and many more. In our article, we covered all of this information. Find out more by reading on!
What is the EBB Program?
It might be quite challenging for you to purchase a laptop or pay for internet services if you have a low or no income. The American government recognized the urgency of this problem and came up with a solution.
So, it decided to provide funding to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and implement an emergency broadband benefit (EBB) program for those with low or no income.
In order to keep citizens connected, the government also offered them free laptops and internet access. But in order to be eligible for the program, there are several requirements that must be met.
However, the name EBB is no longer in effect. It is now known as The Affordable Connectivity Program.
How Does the EBB Program Work?
Congress allocated $3.2 billion to the FCC in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to assist poverty-striken households in paying for broadband access and connected devices.
For qualifying customers, the Emergency Internet Benefit (EBB) Program offered a monthly discount on broadband services of up to $50. Customers who resided on eligible tribal territories were given extra funding for internet services of up to $75 per month.
The program further offered a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet bought from a partner company. The consumer co-payment for the one-time discount was greater than $10 and lower than $50.
Who Can Get a Free Laptop Under EBB Program?
The EBB program was not established to help every American citizen. A variety of eligibility criteria were established in order to exclude others. The following conditions had to be met by at least one member of a family in order to get an EBB program laptop:
- Should have made no more than 135% of the federal poverty level, or at least that amount.
- Alternatively, if you were a current participant in any government aid program, you may be eligible. Programs include welfare or temporary support for impoverished families, SSI, TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, food stamps, and children’s health insurance programs, among others.
- If you were a lifeline recipient, you are immediately eligible for EBB.
- If you were awarded a Pell grant by the federal government the previous year
- If the USDA community eligibility provision had granted you benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunches or the school breakfast program
- If you had suffered a significant loss of income, a job loss, or a furlough since February 29, 2020
- If you could prove that you are handicapped, you were also eligible.
How To Get A Free or Discounted Laptop Under EBB
You had to first enroll in the EBB program in order to apply for the EBB program laptop. You needed to go to the EBB website and submit an application. And here is how you could get a free laptop for the EBB program:
For this process, you had to apply by phoning the emergency broadband customer care services for assistance. The contact center agent would walk you through the laptop application process for the EBB program.
From the official EBB website
This was the simplest and most popular method of requesting a laptop for the EBB program. You had to email your application to getemergencybroadband. Additionally, you would be required to provide personal information and an eligibility document.
Sending an Application by Mail
This was the third way to apply for a laptop with the EBB program. You could fill out an application form on paper, print it, and mail it to the Emergency Broadband Support Center at the following address: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
How To Apply For The EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) Program
While EBB was in effect, applying for the program was quite easy. Even though the process was lengthy, it was not complicated. Below are the steps which needed to be followed:
Step 1: Verify Your Eligibility
Before submitting an application, you had to make sure you are eligible for the program. Verifying eligibility was crucial since otherwise, your application would be immediately rejected. If you were eligible, you can move on to the following round.
Step 2: Register for EBB
You must first register for the free EBB program before applying. The procedure of signing up was very quick and easy. Simply enter your personal information and submit. To get started, you had to visit getemergencybroadband.
Step 3: Fill out the Application
Once your eligibility had been established, you could submit an application through mail, direct contact, or online. You must complete the application by entering personal details such as your full legal name, birthdate, email address, zip code, mailing address, and phone number.
After that, you needed to submit your application with documentation proving your eligibility.
Step 4: Obtain approval
EBB would notify you when your application is accepted. A coupon that would assist you in buying your laptop would subsequently be made available to you.
Step 5: Redeem the Voucher
In a certain electronic store, you could use your voucher after getting it to buy a laptop. But you had to keep in mind that the voucher would only partially offset the laptop’s true cost. As a result, you had to add to the balance.
Where Can you Check If The EBB Program Is Available?
If you visit usac.org, you will notice that the EBB program is no longer available.
However, there is another program with the same plan, known as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program is the same as the EBB but with a few changes.
Details About the ACP (Formerly Known as EBB)
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiative, assists those living in poverty with the cost of internet connection and connected devices like tablets and laptops.
You are most likely qualified if you or a household member is currently receiving public assistance like SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, a Pell Grant, WIC, or a free or reduced-price meal. In addition, if the combined income of you and your household is less than 200% of the federal poverty level, you are probably eligible.
If your household qualifies, you could get:
- You’ll receive a monthly savings of up to $30 on your internet bill.
- If your home is on qualified tribal land, you might save up to $75 each month.
- A one-time discount of up to $100 is available for a desktop, laptop, or tablet (with a co-payment of more than $10 but under $50).
- An affordable service plan that the ACP might fully cover
You should also know that per household, just one monthly subscription discount and one device deal are permitted. Consumers must sign up for the ACP with a participating provider.
The provider has to sell linked devices in order to earn the connected device discount. (Note that not all internet providers provide discounts for devices.) The consumer will receive a discount from the online retailer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Information regarding the EBB is obscure. While it was in effect, people had a lot of queries. Now the same queries are also around, and thankfully they are also relevant for ACP.
Can you tell me what types of laptops are available for the EBB program?
You may get a laptop from EBB that is similar to the Microsoft Surface notebook, which has a 13.5-inch screen and uses Windows 10S. You might alternatively get an Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra-slim laptop.
It features a beautiful design, is lightweight, and has a battery life of up to 22 hours of continuous use. Additionally, you may get an Acer Spin 5 convertible with 15-hour battery life and an HP Specter X 360 with 16 GB of RAM and a long-lasting battery.
How do I choose the right laptop from EBB?
When selecting your EBB laptop, size is a crucial consideration. Although large is fashionable, a large laptop is annoying to carry around. The screen you choose for your EBB laptop should also be carefully considered.
An ideal laptop screen ought to be high-quality and easy on the eyes. Because users spend several hours each day gazing at the screen. Plus High RAM is also vital, even if these exterior aspects are equally necessary. A powerful battery is a must for the perfect laptop.
This makes it possible for you to use it for a number of hours on a single charge. Finally, you need to confirm the laptop’s official warranty before choosing it for your EBB program.
Is the EBB program open to all broadband providers?
No, not all broadband providers can get you to an EBB program. From the consumer end, the eligibility criteria are:
- Had a significant loss of income as a result of a layoff or other work-related circumstance since February 29, 2020
- The Household’s total income for 2020 was $99,000 for single taxpayers and $198,000 for joint filers, or less
- Meets the requirements for a partner provider’s current COVID-19 or low-income program.
How long will I receive benefits?
Up until March 1, 2022, you would continue to receive the entire Emergency Broadband Benefit. This means that the time period is already over.
After that date, the benefit for households who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program but are not situated on qualified tribal grounds will be reduced to a maximum of $30 per month.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program has done a fantastic job of fulfilling its obligations. The majority of individuals strongly suggest them and consider them to be one of the greatest sources of free government computers.
Additionally, EBB provided a reliable, robust computer network. After the eligibility was verified, those who qualified received their computers practically immediately. So the bottom line is- there is no denying that ACP, which is the newer EBB, possesses both reliability and quality. Applying for it is really simple as well. Anyone who earns less than the FDA-defined poverty level is eligible.