Affordable broadband team seeks to increase participation

Check if you qualify for broadband assistance at

Check if you qualify for broadband assistance at

Fewer than a quarter of the Douglas County households eligible for a federal affordable connectivity have signed up, according to the Douglas County Broadband Action Team.

The team is trying to build awareness of a Federal Communications Commission program that provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands.

According to the team, only 997 households or 23 percent of those eligible are enrolled, compared to the average statewide of 38 percent.

The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

The discount is available to eligible households whether they are a new or existing broadband customer.

For those county residents not sure about whether or not they would benefit from internet service, the Douglas County Public Library has free hotspots and devices available for a 30-day checkout with a library card.

A household is eligible for the program if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

• Has an income that is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;

• Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;

• Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard) Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;

• Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;

• Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or

• Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or by going to to submit an online application or print a mail-in application and contacting their preferred participating broadband provider and selecting a plan. Additional information about the program is available at, or by calling 877-384-2575 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time sevens days a week.


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