Currently, AT&T carrier is participating in making broadband more affordable for the millions of eligible households members in dire need in the US. Besides, eligible new and existing AT&T customers can now enjoy home internet or wireless service for even no or little cost if they enroll in the AT&T emergency broadband benefit program. This program gets administered by the Federal Communications Commission to help Americans with connectivity during this pandemic.
However, this temporary program got established by Congress to assist those economically and socially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It applies to either home broadband, ebb free tablet, or broadband services offered by AT&T Wireless. Interestingly, if you are a qualifying household, EBB will help reduce wireless service costs for tasks such as remote work, job hunting, telehealth, and distance learning.
Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a national alarm to the lack of internet access to millions of Americans, specifically low-income families. Therefore, AT&T participates in the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help households stay connected. Most importantly, broadband connectivity is crucial for all Americans and anyone who depends on technologies, including the internet, to remain connected to every aspect of life.
What Is the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The EBB refers to a federal government program that gives a temporary wireless service or home internet benefit for eligible households. Thus, your monthly bill reduces by up to $50 or $75 off the monthly bill if you live on qualifying Tribal lands.
On the other hand, other AT&T services are qualifying for savings using the EBB program. The following are the AT&T services you can save on if you are eligible for the EBB program. They include internet and prepaid wireless plans.
Eligible AT&T Internet plans include:
- AT&T Internet ≤75
- AT&T Internet 100
- AT&T Internet 300
Eligible AT&T Prepaid wireless plans include:
- $75 Unlimited Plus Monthly Plan
- $65 Unlimited Monthly Plan
- $40 Monthly Plan
- $55 100GB Data Only Monthly Plan
Which Phones Are Compatible on AT&T Network
Generally, determining whether your phone function on an AT&T MVNO is as easy. You need to input its IMEI number on the carrier’s website and click “check compatibility.” However, AT&T’s network is a GSM network, allowing easy switching between carriers and phones. This system relies on SIM cards, which can get easily removed out.
Additionally, AT&T provides a wide variety of cell phones for purchase, including the AT&T prepaid phones. You can get the newest iPhone and Samsung models. Interestingly, you can purchase your phone outright or using one of their financing programs, either AT&T Installment Plan or AT&T Next Up.
These 30-month installment plans need 0% APR, which is an attractive option if you want to buy a new phone without harming your pocket. AT&T has the following payment options if you want to purchase cell phones from this provider:
- RRP (pay the total price upfront)
- AT&T Installment Plan (30 months of installments)
- AT&T Next Up (30 months of installments with upgrade early option)
AT&T Upgrade and Trade-in
If you are a customer on the AT&T 30-month Installment Plan, you don’t have the option to trade in your device and upgrade until your device has been paid off (after 30 months, or maybe, choose) to pay it off sooner in enormous amounts.
However, if you’re a customer on the AT&T Next Up program, you can trade-in your phone and upgrade after 50% of your device has been paid off. Besides, to confirm whether you are eligible for an upgrade or not, sign in to myAT&T or the myAT&T App to view the upgrade options for each device on the account, and it will show “Ready to upgrade” or “Choose another upgrade option.”
Then, if your smartphone is capable of an upgrade, choose “Upgrade,” and finish the following steps to buy it. You will receive an envelope via mail from AT&T will mail for you to return your current phone, or you can take your phone to a retail store and upgrade it from there.
If you own your cell phone, you can trade it in and get credit on your AT&T account. You can utilize this credit towards buying a new phone. However, based on your phone model, this option sounds more cost-saving than trading in after paying the total cost on installments.
Moreover, AT&T offers a wide range of AT&T phone deals for existing customers from various brands. You can get a sweet deal on flagship phones from Samsung, as well as the newest iPhone releases. If you’re working under a specific budget, you can have older models, both new and refurbished, at a discount. Generally, AT&T often provides deals for their devices, so ensure you are constantly on the lookout.
Who’s Eligible for The EBB Program?
If a member in your household meets eligibility requirements, you qualify for the AT&T Emergency Broadband Benefit Program in one of the following ways:
- School breakfast program, or Free and reduced-price school lunch program participation, through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision), or participation in the 2019–2020 school year
- Experienced a substantial loss of income, such as a job loss or unpaid leave, from February 29, 2020, and your gross household income in 2020 lies at $99,000 representing single filers or $198,000 representing joint filers
- Acquired a Federal Pell Grant in the present award year
- Is eligible for a qualifying internet provider’s low-income or COVID-19 program
- Additionally, if you currently qualify for the Lifeline federal assistance program, you are also eligible for the EBB program. Below are the ways you can qualify for the Lifeline program:
- Your income lies at 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines
- If a member of your household participates in one of the following federal programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), initially known as Food Stamps), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- If you reside in Tribal lands, any member in your household participates in Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start (only if you meet the income qualifying threshold), Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
How Do You Apply for The EBB Program?
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and participating internet providers are currently accepting the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program applications. Besides, the applications for the EBB Program will get submitted using the GetEmergencyBroadband site or by mail.
However, the mail applications should get forwarded along with proof of your eligibility using the following address:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742
On the other hand, if your ISP is part of the EBB program, they may use ways to apply through them. You can use the USAC search tool to check the participating ISPs in your area, either by inputting your zip code or city and state.
If you apply online, you need to avail the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your date of birth
- A form of ID: Either your Tribal ID number, social security number, Or a form of government-issued ID, including a passport, driver’s license, or taxpayer ID number
- A scanned image or photo or of your ID
What Benefits Does the EBB Program Offer?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program fives up to $50 upon an eligible household’s monthly internet bill or up to $75 for those residing on Tribal lands. Besides, the eligible households can also get up to $100 on one laptop, desktop computer, or tablet bought through their respective internet provider.
Additionally, you need to pay at least $10 to $50 for the device to get the discount. Notably, the $50, $75, or $100 subsidies aren’t payable directly. Alternatively, your internet provider is the one who discounts your service or the cost of the device you’re purchasing. Also, each eligible household receives only one device discount and only one monthly discount on their internet service.
How Long Do the Benefits Last?
Suppose you are an eligible household for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. In that case, you’ll continually receive your monthly bill discount until when the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund gets depleted or up to six months after the lapse of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don’t switch or cancel your internet plan, AT&T can charge you the total cost after the EBB Program ends.
Most importantly, your ISP is supposed to give you notice on the due date when your total discount applies to your bill. Or, if the program ends in the middle of your billing cycle, you need to know the final date when a partial discount applies to your bill. You should also acquire information on the cost of your internet plan after the program ends.
AT&T is helping its new and existing customers during these complex economic crises. Fortunately, the EBB enrollment is now open, and the benefit is applicable to select plans for both new and existing AT&T customers. Households with connectivity issues during the pandemic will have subsidized internet access through the EBB Program.