Big Bend Telephone (BBT) is excited to announce that it has elected to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help eligible customers affected by the pandemic receive financial relief for essential broadband services, while the EBB Program lasts.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a limited $3.2 billion federal initiative to help lower the cost of high-speed internet for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The EBB Program was created by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and is overseen by the FCC and administered by the Universal Service Administration Company.
- Up to $50/month discount for broadband services;
- Up to $75/month discount for broadband services for households on Tribal lands; and
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider.
- The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per eligible household.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is temporary in nature, and the benefits are limited by the federal funding available. It is not known how long the benefit will last, but industry experts anticipate it could last only a few months if there is widespread participation in the program. Upon receiving notification from the Universal Service Administration Company that the fund is nearing depletion, BBT will notify all participating customers that the benefit will terminate. Upon termination of the benefit, the participating household will be subject to BBT’s undiscounted rates if they continue to receive service.
A household is eligible if one member of the household:
- Qualifies for the federal Lifeline program, including those who are on Medicaid or receive SNAP benefits;
- Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- 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;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Eligible households can sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit with BBT beginning May 12, 2021.
- Step 1: Interested households must establish their eligibility using the National Verifier. Please visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org from any computer or mobile device to complete the electronic application.
- Step 2: Once the electronic application has been successfully completed and approved, eligible households must contact BBT to enroll in the program. Please contact BBT's business office at 1.800.592.4781.
BBT’s customer service representatives must perform an address lookup for your specific address to determine what broadband service options are available to your premises. All services are subject to availability.
BBT offers a Fire HD Tablet: 1” 1080P full HD Display, 32 GB
Eligible households may obtain broadband service supported by the EBB Program from any participating provider, and a participating household may transfer their EBB Program benefit to another provider at any time without experiencing early termination penalties.
The EBB Program benefit is separate from any existing Lifeline benefits and is subject to verification of the customer using the discounted broadband service. If you are unsure whether you may qualify for the EBB Program or would like more information, you can visit fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or contact our business office at 1.800.592.4781. We also encourage you to follow us on social media for EBB Program announcements. You may follow our Facebook newsfeed @bigbendtelephone.