Dubuque promotes federal program to subsidize Internet costs | Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – The city of Dubuque recently began promoting the FCC’s Emergency Broadcast Delivery Program, or EBBP, to help achieve its goal of getting an Internet connection for all citizens.

The FCC created the EBBP near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to temporarily help those in need pay for internet service. The program provides fifty dollars a week to pay for Internet services. It also provides a one-time additional fund of one hundred dollars for the purchase of equipment such as laptops or routers.

Households are eligible for the program if they are already using other federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid or food stamps. Or households can qualify if they have suffered severe financial losses during the pandemic.

Congress recently created a new program called the Affordable Connectivity Program to be a more permanent solution to helping Americans pay for the Internet. This program will come into effect on January 1.

The new program increases the amount people receive each month from fifty to thirty dollars. However, he opens the qualifications. Including the previous rules, it now allows any household below 200% of the poverty line. The poverty line changes depending on the number of people in a household. For a house for four people, any house that earns less than $ 52,000 per year would qualify.

The Société de développement du Grand Dubuque has partnered with the city to promote the current program. Dave Lyons, sustainable innovation consultant at Greater Dubuque Development, says the program aligns with Dubuque’s overall goals.

“Greater Dubuque Development has worked with the city and industry to accelerate the availability of broadband and high-speed Internet throughout the Dubuque community,” Lyons said. “So it was a natural progression for us to then start taking the fact that more people have access makes it more affordable.”

There are already 184 households enrolled in EBBP, which Lyons says has already saved them over $ 9,000. Lyons is hoping that the program will become permanent, more people will sign up.