BRADENTON/SARASOTA, FL – According to the 2018 Eighth Broadband Progress Report of the Federation Communications Commission (FCC), while broadband is essential to innovation, jobs and global competitiveness, approximately 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed internet. Having appropriate technology and internet access is vital for obtaining information and job-seeking; in our own community, many low-income adults and students are at a disadvantage because they lack the tools and sufficient access to the internet.
Due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, the digital divide has only widened. In order to help those who are struggling to afford internet service, the Goodwill Industries International network – including Goodwill Manasota – is helping community members to benefit from the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). This new benefit will help connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.
To be eligible for EBB, community members must have experienced a job loss or furlough, experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 because they lost their job or were furloughed, or use SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or Tribal Specific Programs.
This federal benefit program helps qualified households by providing:
• Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;
• Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
• A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if they contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
Time is limited to access these funds: the EBB program will end when the fund runs out, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.
To learn more about Goodwill’s Digital Navigator program and how to access EBB funds, visit Goodwill’s Community Connection office (2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton) or call Ivette Gonzalez at 941-355-2721, ext. 190. For more about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.