Programs detailed on this page:
Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Overview
The 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.
The application to enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is now available. Eligible households can enroll by clicking the button below.Apply Now
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.
- 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.
Vermont Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program
There are currently multiple programs available for households who may need assistance. Each program has its own criteria and some households may qualify for one or both programs, significantly reducing the cost of your monthly bill.
The Temporary Broadband Subsidy is now open to Vermonters who qualify and may require assistance paying their monthly internet bill. This temporary relief program is managed by the State of Vermont and is open to award monthly “grants” or credits to your Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom bill to cover up to $40/mo. on the Internet portion of your monthly bill. There is no guarantee that this program will continue after the December expiration date and the offer is only available while funds are available to cover these expenses.
For more information, program eligibility and to access online application, visit https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/vermont-temporary-broadband-subsidy-program.
Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program
Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program (VCAAP II). This program provides financial support to customers who may face disconnection of service because of past-due balances for their electric, landline telephone, natural gas, water or sewer/wastewater charges.
Vermonters financially impacted by COVID-19 (either directly or indirectly) with 30+ days overdue charges can get help now to pay their arrearages for residential (both homeowners and tenants) and non-residential accounts.
Additionally, both residential account holders and businesses can get assistance for accounts 30+ days in arrears, that were billed after April 1, 2020 and were closed while the COVID-19 pandemic emergency was in effect: between April 1, 2020 and June 15, 2021.
Homeowners may only apply for a grant for their primary residence. Residential assistance is available for up to a total of $10,000; businesses can receive up to a total of $50,000 in assistance.
You must apply online through the State of Vermont before October 25, 2021.
Visit the Vermont Department of Public Service website for more information, program eligibility and to access the online application.
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?”).