We are pleased to announce TWO federal relief programs available for discounts on your monthly phone and internet bills.
Together, both programs can reduce your monthly telephone and internet bill by almost $60 and only one single application to determine financial eligibility is needed.
PROGRAM #1: Lifeline
Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of internet bills for eligible low-income subscribers. If you qualify you will receive up to $9.25 discounted from your monthly internet bill.
We are offering this program in partnership with WhipCity Fiber (based out of Westfield, MA) Here is where to apply:
All of your bills will continue to come from Crocker Communications. It is only the Lifeline program administration part that is being handled by Whip City Fiber. There is no additional cost to you for applying or participating.
Within 30 days of submitting your application you'll get an email from Crocker that will tell you your status. If you are eligible you will see a $9.25 reduction in the next month's bill.
Your monthly $9.25 discount will continue every year. Lifeline will conduct a check annually to make sure you still qualify for the benefit by checking national low-income program databases. If they are unable to confirm your eligibility through this check they will send a letter in the mail asking you to provide more information.
PROGRAM #2: Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP)
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) is a new federal program that will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband internet service for eligible households.
If you apply for Lifeline (above) and are eligible for Lifeline benefits you will automatically qualify for EBBP benefits. You will receive an email from Crocker Communications asking for your permission to apply for these benefits on your behalf. You do not have to submit a second application. After that, Crocker will automatically enroll you in EBBP and you will see a $50 discount on your next bill.
If you already know you are not eligible for Lifeline or simply would like to apply for only EBBP you can do so here: https://getemergencybroadband.org/ (If you are ONLY applying for EBBP and not Lifeline, after your application is approved, you must contact Crocker Communications to enroll in the EBB Program with Crocker- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-775-4170. You can also do this if you an existing Lifeline subscriber already.)
Benefits will continue until federal EBBP funding runs out or the Dept of Health and Human Services declares an end to the emergency.
Do you have more questions? Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.
All the best,
Your ShutesburyNET Team
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I combine both benefit programs?
YES! If you qualify you can receive a discount of $9.25 plus $50 for a total of $59.25 off each month’s bill by submitting just one single application.
What if I submit an application and I don’t qualify for Lifeline but I still want to try to qualify for EBBP?
If you receive notification after applying to Lifeline that you are not eligible for that program, Crocker will send you further instructions for how to re-apply for just EBBP benefits. If you already know you are not eligible for Lifeline and would like to apply directly and only for EBBP you can do so here: https://getemergencybroadband.org/
How long do the benefits last?
Lifeline is available for 12 months and then can continue on an annual basis as long as you continue to qualify.
EBBP is temporary funding provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted or six months after the Dept. of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.
If you qualify for both programs, you will continue to receive the Lifeline discount even after EBBP ends.
How will I know the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is ending?
Crocker Communications will give you notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill.
Who is eligible for Lifeline?
To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must be receiving internet and/or phone service and have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs.
Who is eligible for EBBP?
A household is eligible if a member of the household is paying for monthly internet service and meets one of the criteria below:
-Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline
-Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
-Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
-Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
-Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
I heard there is a one-time discount for buying a laptop, desktop or computer of $100? How can I take advantage of this?
We can’t offer this part of the benefit. We can only offer the monthly fee discount.
Where can I learn more about these programs?
The Federal Communications Commission has lots of information on their websites about each program.
To learn more about EBBP please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/consumer-faq-emergency-broadband-benefit
To learn more about Lifeline please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/lifeline-consumers
Can I submit a paper application instead of an online application?
Yes! Processing your application will take a little longer but you can apply via mail instead of online if you'd like. Click the links below to download a printable application for each program.
Lifeline paper application: LI_Application_NVstates.pdf
EBBP paper application: EBB_Application_Form_FINAL.pdf