CONNECTIVITY FOR ALL
Everyone in Greater Washington should have affordable access to a computing device and high-speed internet in their home, along with foundational computer skills. Connectivity is vital for access to jobs, education, health and human services—and Connected DMV is committed to helping to make this a reality for 100,000 low-income adults over the next four years.
The internet is essential.
Access to the internet is essential to our everyday lives—impacting our ability to work, learn, communicate, and to access vital health and human services. But right now in Greater Washington, the 6th largest region in the United States, more than 300,000 households are without internet access.
If we are going to remove economic, educational, and social barriers so that everyone in our communities—from Anacostia to Georgetown and Oxon Hill to Arlington—can have equal access to opportunities, we must summon the region's collective assets to fundamentally reshape the physical, digital, economic, and social infrastructures that enable all communities to thrive, especially vulnerable and underserved populations. And to advance social equity, we must advance digital equity and ensure that everyone has affordable access to internet service, devices, digital literacy and technology skills training.
Across the region, Black and Latinx students are twice as likely as white students not to have a computer in the home
of District households do not have broadband internet service
Maryland households, or about one in four, do not have a home wireline broadband subscription
of District households lack access to a computer
1 in 5
Virginia students lack either high-speed internet or a computer in the home
About the Emergency Broadband Benefit
As of May 12, 2021, the Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. 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. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
A household is eligible if one member of the household:
Qualifies for the Lifeline program. Individuals qualify for the Lifeline program if they have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or receive:
Supplemental Security Income
Federal Public Housing Assistance
Veterans and Survivors Pension benefit
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 single filers and $198,000 for joint filers
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income or COVID-19 program
We need your help.
While the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) delivers much-needed services, its funding does not cover outreach to consumers to raise awareness of this benefit. It also does not cover digital literacy training so people can maximize their internet access to receive valuable services. Connected DMV is mobilizing communities across the DMV to drive understanding and adoption of the EBB program.
Connectivity for All will immediately focus on activating the ecosystem across industry, government, schools, nonprofits, community centers, faith-based organizations, and others to drive awareness and adoption of the EBB program. We’ll do it through tools that support communications and coordinated activities, and that expand our ability to deliver digital literacy training courses at scale.
Find a volunteer opportunity near you and become part of the work to bridge the digital divide in Greater Washington. Whether you're handing out flyers at a local nonprofit center, training a neighbor on how to use their new device, or something else entirely, it's going to take all of us.
EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT PROGRAM
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a FCC program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying households. The program has been authorized by the FCC, and eligible households will be able to apply starting on Wednesday May 12, 2021. Check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit.
Computer CORE is offering free assistance to help residents apply for the EBB Program. Computer CORE's current 'office hours' are the following until June 30, 2021:
Wednesdays from 10am-3pm
Ballston location (4121 Wilson Blvd. Ste. 900)
Explore the resources below from various organizations that assist in the EBB application process:
EBB INFORMATION FOR PROVIDERS
The program is open to all broadband providers, not just those currently offering Lifeline services. Participating providers will receive reimbursement from the program for delivering qualifying broadband services or devices to eligible households.
EMERGENCY CONNECTIVITY FUND PROGRAM
The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program will reimburse schools and libraries for the reasonable costs of eligible equipment and broadband connections used to help students, staff, and patrons who otherwise lack access to be able to engage in remote learning. The program covers “reasonable costs of eligible equipment and services for off campus use by students, teachers, and library patrons who lack connected devices such as WiFi hotspots, laptop or tablet computers and/or lack broadband access during the pandemic”
ECF application filing window is June 29 through August 13, 2021. Eligible participants can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services through June 30, 2022.
USAC hosts weekly office hours where applicants and service providers can ask questions and get information about the ECF application process. Register for an online session with the "Office Hours" button below.
Applicants and service providers can also contact the ECF Customer Support Center with questions at (800)234-9781 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Explore the resources below from various organizations that assist in the ECF application process:
District of Columbia Office of the Chief Technology Officer
Employ Prince George's Inc.
Montgomery County Office of Cable & Communication Services
Prince George's County
Hon. Danielle Glaros
Smart City Media
Prince George’s Community College
Dr. Rhonda Spells-Fentry
Community & Philanthropy
Donna Walker James
Federal City Council
Laura Miller Brooks
Hon. Tony Williams
Maryland Tech Council
Northern Virginia Technology Council
UMD Smart Cities
Wilderness Technology Alliance