Emergency broadband benefit available

Paul Bunyan Communications announced that discounts may be available to eligible customers, thanks to a new $3.2 billion program from the FCC.

According to a release, the benefit program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on tribal lands.

The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward the purchase of a computer, laptop or tablet, but Paul Bunyan Communications is not a participating provider for that specific benefit option.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of these criteria:

  • An income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or participates in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program for the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years;
  • Received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,0000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Enrollment for this benefit program begins on May 12. Eligible households can enroll through Paul Bunyan Communications or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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