RG Fiber got approved to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Broadband is a critical component of our 21st century quality of life. Communities that lack reliable, fast and affordable broadband will be left behind. The existing legacy networks in small town communities were highly engineered for something other than internet traffic and the current demand for data is causing these networks to fail. The end result is the powerful, galvanizing voice of rural America which has been silenced and excluded from this opportunity to make our world a better place.
RG Fiber is bringing gigabit level internet to small town America. To accomplish that mission, RG Fiber created the first production-ready software-driven network in the US. Software has been replacing hardware for years in data centers through virtualization and cloud computing. Mike Bosch, Founder/CEO, ported those concepts to the internet service provider industry.
In 2020, the demand for work at home orders and online schooling for kids brought FRESH attention to the digital divide between those with fast internet and those who are struggling to just gain access. One in ten households in Kansas does not have access to proper internet speeds needed to perform daily school work or to be able to work from home. The minimum broadband speed considered by the state is 25 megabits per second and the upload speed is 3 megabits per second.
RG Fiber is trying to break this divide that most Kansans are facing. Federal and State officials are aggressively trying to move the needle on this issue that is affecting many rural communities.
Most of these complications still remain unanswered. However, to help solve this, RG Fiber is embarking on the expansion of our fiber optics network.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission released different benefit programs which will help individuals and internet providers fund the cost of rural broadband networks. RG Fiber applied and got accepted for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program! This program will allow RG Fiber customers the access they need that will help pay for internet services during these hard times presented by the pandemic.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
RG Fiber is excited to announce that we have been accepted for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB program). This program is geared at helping thousands struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.
About the Emergency Broadband Benefit
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 became law and established an Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund of $3.2 billion in the United States Treasury to help Americans afford internet service during the pandemic. The Act directed the Federal Communications Commission to use the fund to establish an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program), under which eligible low-income households may receive a discount off the cost of broadband services and certain connected devices.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount to eligible households up to $50 per month towards broadband services. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price.This program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
Who is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
A household is eligible if one member of the household:
- Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
- 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 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29,2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for a single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
When can I sign up for the benefit?
The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been determined. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible.