AARP Massachusetts Encourages Residents to Participate in Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

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In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.

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Boston— AARP Massachusetts this week encouraged residents who are without access to high-speed internet, or struggling to afford it, to look into the recently launched Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.

The EBB is a $3.2 billion Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 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,” said AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa. “But too many Bay State residents 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.”

Under this short-term program, Massachusetts 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 Bay Staters 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 February 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.

“Helping older adults get and stay connected to high-speed internet is a key area of focus for AARP,” said Festa. “That is why AARP fought hard for the EBB Program at the federal level and here in Massachusetts.”

For more information about EBB, visit aarp.org/EBB, text INTERNET to 22777 or call 1-833-511-0311.

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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.

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