The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that more than five million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program since its launch in mid-May.
“Enrolling five million households into the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program in a little over three months is no small feat. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of nearly 30,000 individuals and organizations who signed up as volunteer outreach partners,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I’m grateful for the tremendous work the agency and our partners across the country have spearheaded over the last few months.”
Alongside the announcement, the FCC has also begun releasing more granular enrollment data, which the commission said will help to inform its evolving awareness efforts, increase transparency in the program, and empower its outreach partners to better target awareness and enrollment efforts.
“Through our analysis and conversations with partners, we heard the need for more granular data, and today’s data release provides us all new opportunities to target and engage eligible families who may qualify for EBB but haven’t yet enrolled. Information is power. We’re ready to put this new data to work,” said Rosenworcel.
In a press release, the FCC said the new data includes enrollee demographic information, such as age breakdown, eligibility category, type of broadband service, and enrollment numbers by five-digit Zip code area. The new data exists as part of the FCC’s existing dashboard, which was developed by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).
More than 1,160 broadband providers are currently participating in the voluntary program. Households can gain eligibility through their use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline, or if a child received reduced-price school meals programs in the last two school years. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is also available to households who are eligible for a broadband provider’s existing COVID-19 relief program, to those who have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year, and to those low-income households who suffered a significant loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.