AARP Iowa is encouraging Iowans of all ages who are without access to high-speed internet or struggling to afford it, to look into the recently launched Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
The program is a $3.2 billion Federal Communications Commission program to help Americans access the affordable, high-speed internet they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has shown our reliance on high-speed internet,” AARP Iowa State Director Brad Anderson said. “But too many Iowans are being left behind. Patients navigating telehealth, students learning remotely and loved ones staying connected with family members by video chat are only a few of the critical tasks that require a high-speed connection.”
“Iowa Community Action Association is proud to stand with AARP to help increase access to service and to drive down costs, in particular for low-income Iowans,” said Katherine Riley Harrington, executive director for Iowa Community Action Association. “Internet access is an essential service; and, with more and more basic service delivery occurring over broadband like health care, education and work, it is imperative that all of our citizens get and stay connected."
Under the short-term program, Iowa residents may be eligible for a discount on their high-speed internet service of up to:
• $50/month discount for high-speed internet services.
• $75/month discount for high-speed internet services for households on Tribal lands.
• A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
This past year, many Iowans experienced financial setbacks and have struggled to get by, which could qualify them for the program. Residents may be eligible for the EBB if they:
• Qualify for the Lifeline program, as well as those who participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI benefits.
• Experienced a substantial loss of income since Feb, 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
• Meet the criteria for a participating internet provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligible households will enroll through participating broadband providers.