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There's A Federal Program To Reduce Internet Costs, But Hardly Anyone Has Signed Up

Internet Broadband cable
Jorge Guillen

AARP Connecticut wants seniors to take advantage of a federal emergency broadband program to lower internet costs. It launched in the spring, but only 50,000 state residents signed up.

Burt Cohen, an attorney with the Connecticut Consumer Council, wants the enrollment to double by Thanksgiving.

“There is money on the table. There is still money that is available in this program. We want to make sure residents of Connecticut take full advantage of it if their households qualify,” Cohen said.

Eduard Bartholme chairs consumer advisory at the Federal Communication Commission.

“The last year and a half has really shown all of us that broadband is no longer nice to have, it’s a need to have. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a new temporary program that was developed in response to the pandemic. It’s designed to help qualifying households get or stay connected,” Bartholme said.

The program has had a slow rollout since it was implemented as part of the COVID-19 relief package signed by Congress last December. It provides up to a $50 credit on a recipient’s internet bill each month. It also includes a one time credit of $100 for the purchase of a computer or tablet.

For more information, call 833-511-0311 or go to https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

John is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.