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Overview

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is a new FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This temporary benefit will help families with challenges such as working from home, distance learning, telehealth services, or simply connecting digitally with loved ones. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing customers of participating providers.

The EBB will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. The benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household.

Application

The application to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is now available. Eligible households can enroll by clicking the button below.

Apply Now

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Eligibility

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the low-income criteria, including but not limited to, qualifying for the Lifeline program or free and reduced-price school lunch programs.

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

FAQs

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household. A household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses—roommates are a household, a family living together are a household.
The application to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program will be available on May 12, 2021. Check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit and please continue to check this page for program updates.
As your provider, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and apply to your account.
Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit. The EBB does not apply to the past due balance, it will cover $50 of the current month’s invoice.
Yes, talk to us about the plans they have available as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.
Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom will give you notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill, in addition to information about the cost of your broadband service after the program ends.

  • The end of the program may not be timed to your billing cycle for service. This may result in you receiving less than the full monthly service discount in the final month of the program. In the event that you might receive a partial benefit in the last month of the program, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom must receive your permission before they can charge you an amount higher than what you would pay if the full Emergency Broadband Benefit is applied to your broadband bill. In other words, if you were receiving a $50 discount off of your broadband bill, but based on the available funds in the program, there is only enough to provide you with a $40 discount, your provider must have your permission to charge you the additional $10.
  • Households will need to opt-in or request to continue broadband services when the program ends. If you don’t opt-in or select a new service plan with Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom, your broadband service will end once the program ends. Even if you had service with Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom before enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you will need to opt-in to continue broadband services after the program ends.
No, you will not automatically receive. You must opt-in to receive the benefit with Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom in addition to your Lifeline benefit or request enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program with a different participating broadband provider and chose an eligible service plan.
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Lifeline

You may also be eligible for discounted service through the Federal Lifeline Program. Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers.

To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs.

You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click “Do I Qualify?”).