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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program for T.C.P.S. families

TAZEWELL COUNTY, W.v. (WVVA) -- The Federal Communications Commission has established a $3.2 billion dollar Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, providing discounts on internet bills and electronic equipment.

The initiative provides qualifying households different discounts on internet bills and the ability to get discounts on either a computer or tablet.

The program was made to help aid those that struggle with paying high-speed internet services costs, especially when the need for online learning has increased during the pandemic.

The program will provide those that are eligible discounts up to $50 a month on broadband services and will also give a one-time discount of up to $100 when purchasing a computer or tablet.

In a press release made Tazewell County Public Schools, eligibility follows the guidelines: "Under the law, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast including those who receive lunch or breakfast through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP); Pell grant recipients; OR those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers."

"Our community's going to have access to broadband and it's going to open some doors for some people who were maybe not able to afford it," Lindsey Mullins, the Director of Public Relations for Tazewell County Public Schools says. "Maybe with this discount it'll help them be able to get broadband access and definitely it should be able to help them afford a device with the discount on that too."

"In a hybrid situation in Tazewell County Public Schools where students have the option of either doing online or virtual instruction or in-person instruction, this allows them to be able to get internet in their homes," said Cynthia Beaver, the Director of Technology for Tazewell County Public Schools. "It's just another resource for families who may not have internet in their homes to be able to do so."

The start date as to when the program will begin has not been established. Tazewell County Public Schools say that eligible families will hopefully be able to sign up by the end of April 2021.

For more information if your families is eligible, go to: www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.

Tazewell County Public Schools will also continue to post updates as more information is released.

Christina Kass

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