Change Peoria promoting FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Change Peoria is actively promoting a new initiative by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help people save money on the internet.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was created to help stave off some internet costs during the pandemic. Households that qualify can save $50 a month on internet.

With the pandemic putting many people in their homes to work and learn, reliable broadband is more important than ever.

The group Change Peoria is building awareness about the initiative so that residents of Peoria can reap the benefits.

“It’s something we hear a lot, that internet access is important. And it can be quite prohibitively expensive for a lot of people in the area,” Ryan Hidden, Executive Director of Change Peoria, said. “People often have to make a decision between internet and something else.”

The FCC granted $3.2 million to the initiative. Households that qualify can get $50 reduced from their monthly internet bill.

According to Hidden, at least 30,000 people in Peoria County are eligible for this grant.

Qualifying households include those that are below the poverty line.

Enrollment for the program begins May 12. Hidden said it will continue until funds are exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.

More information about the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can be found here. Find out if your household qualifies.

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