Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

COVID Relief Program Offers $50 a Month Toward Internet Bills

Play

Thursday, June 3, 2021   

WHITESBURG, Ky. - The Federal Communications Commission says it's providing $50 a month direct payments toward internet bills to those who sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Marty Newell, chief operating officer of the Center for Rural Strategies, said if you're eligible, internet service providers will deduct 50 dollars from your bill every month until the program runs out of money or the pandemic is declared over by health officials.

He added the $3.2 billion program is a step toward equalizing broadband access, but pointed out it's a stopgap solution to a systemic problem.

"What we really want to do in this country is make it so, in the same way that we did with telephones and with electricity, everybody has access to a reasonably affordable option," said Newell.

He explained that people who lost income during the pandemic and who make less than $198,000 per year, as well as low-income households could be eligible.

The catch is that residents need to find internet access to sign up for the program at 'getemergencybroadband.org.'

For help on how to find out if you're eligible and how to apply, visit 'ebbhelp.org' or call the program's hotline number at 833-511-0311 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time seven days a week.

Newell said the discount can't be applied to account bundles that include cable TV or other services, but says individuals can apply and be approved for the program even if they're behind on paying internet bills.

He added that if you can't afford internet without the discount, you're not obligated to continue service when the program ends.

"If you can't afford the plan you're on without the 50 bucks, you can get out of it," said Newell, "at the end of this program, whenever that should comes to pass."

He said he believes long-term solutions are needed to ensure broadband is affordable for Kentuckians, many of whom don't have much of a choice when it comes to who their provider is or how much they pay.

"It is one of those issues that, politically, you can make a lot of hay with because everybody's for it," said Newell. "But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, there are lots of shortcomings in the system."

According to the latest Census data, around 78% of Kentucky households have a broadband internet subscription, lower than the national average of around 86%.




get more stories like this via email
An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …


Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …


Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …

Environment

Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Environment

By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …

Environment

Conservation groups are pushing to keep federal protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. Boundaries of …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021