Starry Announces Participation in the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Apr 29th, 2021
Having affordable, reliable broadband access is essential for all American families. To help support continued broadband access during the COVID-19 pandemic, last year Congress appropriated $3.2 billion to establish an Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to provide a short-term discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of running the program and has set a launch date of May 12 for the program.
Starry is proud to be approved by the FCC to participate in the program, and will offer the EBB benefit as a short-term discount on broadband services to qualifying consumers living in Starry Connect-designated communities. Today, more than 30,000 units of public and affordable housing are part of the Starry Connect program, a digital equity initiative that provides an ultra-low-cost broadband access plan to residents without requiring credit checks or other individual eligibility requirements.
“Having reliable, high-quality broadband access at home is essential and yet, far too many American families continue to go without, due to high costs,” said Virginia Lam Abrams, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Strategic Advancement at Starry. “The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a necessary, short-term relief program that aims to get help where it's needed most. Americans are continuing to struggle with the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the EBB program, in the near-term, will help keep children learning and families working and connected during this challenging time.”
HOW DOES STARRY’S PARTICIPATION IN THE EBB PROGRAM WORK?
- Starry Connect subscribers eligible for the EBB benefit will receive an email asking them if they would like to opt-into the program. Subscribers can click on the link provided and follow the prompts to opt-into the EBB program. Starry is required to collect the subscriber’s date of birth and provide it to the National Lifeline Accountability Database in order for the subscriber to receive the EBB benefit.
- The EBB is limited to one monthly service discount per household and is available to eligible new, prior and existing subscribers living in Starry Connect-designated communities. Current and new paying subscribers in Starry Connect communities can opt-in to the EBB program and Starry will apply the discount directly to the subscriber’s account.
- At the end of the EBB program, subscribers will be notified in advance when normal billing will resume and will be able to continue their service, change plans or cancel their service.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I LIVE IN A STARRY CONNECT COMMUNITY?
Starry Connect housing partners include public housing authorities, privately-owned affordable housing communities and HUD-supported housing. If your housing community qualifies for our program, then all residents have access to our $15 broadband plan option. Apartment communities that are not qualified as public or affordable housing do not participate in the Starry Connect program.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EBB?
There are a number of resources for consumers including the following sites: