Broadband Resources

?This page will be updated continuously to reflect the most recent information. This page was last updated on May 20, 2021. 

The? American Rescue Plan?provides $7.2 billion in new funding for public and private schools and public libraries to purchase Internet access and connected devices.? Details are below. 

E-Rate Support 

  • The?American Rescue Plan?provides $7.2 billion in additional funding through the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) universal service schools and libraries program (also known as the E-Rate).
  • This funding can be distributed to public and private schools and public libraries to purchase Internet access and connected devices (including hotspots, routers, modems and computers) for students, educators and library patrons who lack home Internet access, a connected device, or both. Schools and libraries would be eligible to purchase eligible services and equipment for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic plus at least one year. 
  • Schools and libraries would be reimbursed through the program for 100% of the costs associated with the eligible services and equipment. 
  • The FCC will likely issue rules regarding this additional funding in May 2021. 

You may also be eligible for relief provided by the?Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021?(COVID relief law) that Congress passed in December 2020.

Emergency Broadband Connections 

  • The COVID relief law provided $3.5 billion to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a program to help low-income Americans, including those economically-challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, get connected or remain connected to broadband.? 
  • The program will supply a $50 per month subsidy to qualifying households to help them afford broadband service and an internet connected device. ? 
  • The subsidy increases to $75 per month for those living on tribal lands. 
  • Qualifying households will include households with at least one individual who is eligible for the?Lifeline Program, or the?Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?(SNAP), or a?Pell Grant, or who has experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020.? Other households may qualify depending on rules established by the FCC. 
  • In March 2021, the FCC announced rules for providers to participate in the program.? It is expected individuals will be able to enroll in this program with their provider in April 2021.? Please check with your provider then to find out if you are eligible. 

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) 
The EBBP will provide a monthly discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service and a one-time device discount of up to $100 for eligible consumers. Consumers who live on qualifying Tribal lands can receive enhanced support of up to $75 per month for broadband services. For more information, click?here.

Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly benefit of up to $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers and up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal/Native lands. For more information, click?here.

Illinois Office of Broadband 
The Office of Broadband serves as a one-stop shop for all things broadband. From infrastructure to utilization, public funding to private deployment, the office strives to be a useful resource to individual consumers, local communities, various state agencies, and broadband providers alike. For more information, click?here