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 Oxen 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 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
THE EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT
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 receive Medicaid, SNAP benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans and Survivors Pension benefit or have an income at or below 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines)
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.
The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been established. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible. Check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit.
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.
Public Sector & Economic Development Organizations
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation
Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
Board of Trade
Council of Governments
Consortium of Universities of the Washington
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
United Way of the National Capital Area
Washington Business Journal
U.S. Deptartment of Commerce (former)
Industry & Community Organizations
Real Estate & Development
The 2030 Group
Venture Capital & Private Equity
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Research & Public Policy
The Stephen S. Fuller Institute, George Mason University
Dr. Anne Kress
Community College (NOVA)