September 20-24: National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week

Posted on Sep 20, 2021 in Hot Topics, Important Events

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), have designated the first week after Labor Day as National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week. This year’s observance, however, is September 20-24, 2021.

The week is designed to both raise awareness of and increase participation in Lifeline, a federal/state program that helps make telephone service more affordable for qualified customers.

Under the federal Lifeline Program, established in 1985, low-income consumers who participate in certain public assistance and veterans’ pension programs or qualify based on income can receive a discount of up to $9.25 per month off their monthly bill for phone, broadband or bundled phone and broadband service, and up to $34.25 per month for residents of Tribal lands. Information on program eligibility and rules is available at http://www.lifelinesupport.org.

This year’s campaign focuses on the FCC’s new Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Emergency Broadband Benefit: The EBB provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household (or up to $75 per eligible household on Tribal lands). The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers is available to eligible households contributing more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Benefit includes criteria for households that may not be receiving public assistance or meet other Lifeline standards, so it’s important to review the guidelines to understand eligibility.

More information is available at https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit on eligibility requirements, applying for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and other resources.