Keeping Americans connected during Coronavirus » Emergency Broadband Benefit »

Emergency Broadband

Financial support when you need it most

We believe it’s more important than ever that families in need have access to affordable internet, so they can stay connected to family, friends, work and school.

As part of a stimulus bill, the federal government has set aside money for an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) designed to help Americans stay connected to the internet during the pandemic. Eligible households can receive up to $50 off internet service, including equipment costs, with the EBB discount on select rate plans if you qualify.

Get High-Speed Internet at No Cost

is offering a supplemental EBBP promotional discount on certain EBBP plans so that qualified
customers can receive High-Speed Internet service for free after application of the EBBP and
supplemental promotional discounts on select rate plans.

250 MBPS Internet

Includes modem/router equipment, certain fees, no credit checks, no contracts, no data overage fees

500 MBPS Internet

Includes modem/router equipment, certain fees, no credit checks, no contracts, no data overage fees

940 MBPS Internet

Includes modem/router equipment, certain fees, no credit checks, no contracts, no data overage fees

RCN provides our customers with exceptional customer care along with reliable products and services to meet your needs—whether it be working from home, schooling from home, or even play at home—RCN provides what you need.

What happens after the Emergency Broadband Benefit will no longer be available?

RCN will notify you in advance of the program ending. At the end of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you may choose to continue on the same plan at the full retail rate for the plan –without the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program discount and associated promotional credit -- or you may choose to enroll in another promotional plan or our Internet First Program, if you qualify.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

The EBBP is a temporary federal program that provides a total of $3.2 billion to help U.S. households in need due to the pandemic pay for internet access.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary government assistance program that reduces a customer’s broadband Internet access service bill, and is available only to eligible consumers that qualify for participation. Upon expiration of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, undiscounted rates and terms of service will apply. Customers may obtain broadband service supported by the Emergency Broadband Benefit from any provider participating in the program and may transfer their service to another provider participating in the program at any time.

How does the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program work?

Eligible current and new customers will receive up to $50 per month off broadband services and related equipment, until the federal funds are depleted. After application of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and supplemental program discounts, qualified applicants will receive totally free high-speed internet and equipment rentals for a limited time on select plans.

Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

Eligible households with active internet service with RCN will receive up to $50 off internet service and equipment rental with the EBB discount on select rate plans if you qualify.

A household may qualify if they are currently enrolled in our Internet First Program, local Internet First programs or Lifeline Phone plus Internet (where applicable).

A household may also qualify if they’ve had a loss of income due to furlough or unemployment subject to certain income requirements, or are enrolled in an eligible government assistance programs, including:

  • Free or Reduced lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Federal Public Housing (including Section 8, Multi-family units, and Public Housing Authorities)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Head Start
  • Pell Grant recipient for current academic year
  • Tribal Programs (and proof of living on tribal lands) including:
    • Any of the programs listed above
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Unemployment filing during COVID pandemic (after Feb 29th 2020 and total household income below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans Pension & Survivors Benefits
  • Proof income is 135% or less than federal poverty guidelines (three consecutive paystubs or a tax return). Note: 135% of federal poverty guidelines is approximately $35,000 for a family of four. You can look up the income maximum for your household at: https//www.lifelinesuport.org/do-i-qualify/federal-poverty-guidelines/
How can I determine if I’m eligible and sign up?

You can determine your eligibility with the steps below:

  1. Confirm eligibility at the National Verifier Database at https://getemergencybroadband.org;
  2. Choose RCN as your service provider;
  3. Receive High-Speed Internet Service free with the EBB discount on select rate plans if you qualify.
When can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

Eligible households will be able to enroll on or about May 12.

Is this exclusive to RCN?

No. RCN is among numerous broadband providers across the US who are part of the program.

How long will EBBP last?

The program will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

Why is RCN participating?

Keeping all of our customers connected – especially during the pandemic – is our priority. Though there are some signs of improvement, families and individual in need continue to be affected by the pandemic’s economic impact. This is part of our broader effort to ensure they remain connected to loved ones, engaged in their education, productive at work and able to unwind with their favorite shows and movies. The EBBP and supplemental program discounts will provide additional support on top of our pre-existing COVID-19 response programs, further ensuring no customers in need suffer without connectivity.

How does the billing work?

After you’re approved for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a credit will be applied to your account for the program and, in certain circumstances, a supplemental program discount will also be applied. These credits will go towards your monthly internet service and internet equipment charges. In the last month of the program, the credits will be lower and dependent on remaining funds available in the program.

How does a past due balance impact my eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

You can still take advantage of this program if you have a past due balance.

What documentation do I need to qualify for the program funds?

You may be asked to verify your identity and provide documentation for the program qualifications. Confirmation of identity may include using your mobile phone number, date of birth, driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Documentation may also be needed to confirm loss of income, unemployment status, or participation in an eligible government assistant program.

Eligible government assistant programs are listed below:

  • Internet First customer
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
  • Head Start
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension
  • School Lunch/Breakfast Program
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Existing low income program/COVID 19 program
What happens after the Emergency Broadband Benefit will no longer be available?

RCN will notify you in advance of the program ending. At the end of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you may choose to continue on the same plan at the full retail rate for the plan –without the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program discount and associated promotional credit -- or you may choose to enroll in another promotional plan or our Internet First Program, if you qualify.

How much loss of income qualifies for this program?

You do not need to verify a specific amount. If you or someone in your household experience a loss of income after February 29th, 2020 and total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers, and $198,000 for joint fliers, you can qualify. Supporting documents include layoff or furlough notice, application unemployment benefits, or similar documentation.

What if I have other services with RCN?

You’ll still receive one statement that includes all your services from RCN. Any services not covered under the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will need to be paid as they are today.

The EBBP credit will display on your statement monthly. You can view any remaining balance by downloading the RCN app or visiting https://my.rcn.com/.

Can I disconnect my service at any time?

Yes. The EBBP does not require an agreement with RCN and you can disconnect at any time.

How quickly can I get internet installed?

Once your EBBP status has been approved our team will schedule your installation as soon as possible. For some customers this could be next day.

What happens if I don't use the internet?

You must use your service plan internet at least once per month to receive the EBBP credit. Your account will receive the monthly credit from the EBBP if your internet service is active, used at least once per month, and funds remain in the program.

Available to eligible residential, serviceable households for certain broadband service packages offered by RCN under the EBB Program. RCN may require proof of eligibility. Eligibility, service features, terms, policies, and prices are subject to change. Taxes and fees extra. Standard terms and conditions of service and acceptable use policy apply. Credit only applies to the Internet speed listed, standard modem/router and select fees that RCN assesses and retains. Any other services, equipment, taxes and fees that are not being subsidized through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program are not included. The EBBP credit will reflect as partial payment on the billing statement.

*Internet download speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Observed speeds may vary based on device connection & other factors outside of RCN’s control. Gig Internet offers speeds up to 940 Mbps. See rcn.com/yourspeed for why speeds may vary. Certain equipment may be required to receive Gigabit speeds up to 940 Mbps. RCN substantiates that the cable modem equipment provided, and the configuration of such cable modem, meets the broadband speeds advertised when attached to a wired connection based on SamKnows testing procedures. High-speed modem required for RCN High-Speed Internet service.If a data outlet is needed, an additional outlet fee may apply in addition to applicable installation fees. Actual speeds may vary; stated speeds are up to subscribed to/stated speed and are not guaranteed. The actual range and reliability of a wireless network is affected by a number of factors. Downstream data speed may be affected by whether the data accessed is cached or non-cached; Internet-related factors, such as the location and configuration of each accessed server; internal network factors, including customer compliance with RCN usage policies set forth in the acceptable usage policy; the level of overall traffic; and the customer’s computer configuration. RCN's FCC Network Management Disclosure makes available information regarding our network management practices and the performance and commercial terms of our Internet access services to enable you to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of our services, in accordance with Part 8 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

*Internet download speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Observed speeds may vary based on device connection & other factors outside of RCN’s control. Gig Internet offers speeds up to 940 Mbps. See rcn.com/yourspeed for why speeds may vary. Certain equipment may be required to receive Gigabit speeds up to 940 Mbps. RCN substantiates that the cable modem equipment provided, and the configuration of such cable modem, meets the broadband speeds advertised when attached to a wired connection based on SamKnows testing procedures. High-speed modem required for RCN High-Speed Internet service.If a data outlet is needed, an additional outlet fee may apply in addition to applicable installation fees. Actual speeds may vary; stated speeds are up to subscribed to/stated speed and are not guaranteed. The actual range and reliability of a wireless network is affected by a number of factors. Downstream data speed may be affected by whether the data accessed is cached or non-cached; Internet-related factors, such as the location and configuration of each accessed server; internal network factors, including customer compliance with RCN usage policies set forth in the acceptable usage policy; the level of overall traffic; and the customer’s computer configuration. RCN's FCC Network Management Disclosure makes available information regarding our network management practices and the performance and commercial terms of our Internet access services to enable you to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of our services, in accordance with Part 8 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

I have a Wi-Fi only house – Fire Stick, iPhones, Tablets, Xbox, PlayStation, Security System, Car Monitoring – GIG from RCN is my best kept secret.
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Reprinted from www.pcmag.com with permission. © 2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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