Members of the University of Hawaiʻi ʻohana may qualify for a new federal program that can help pay for internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program has been established to assist thousands of households across the state, and those who are eligible can receive up to $50 a month to pay for their broadband service. Those who live on Hawaiian Home Lands may qualify for an additional benefit of up to $75 per month.
Applicants will be eligible if a member of their household:
- Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- 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;
- Is 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 2019–20 or 2020–21 school year;
- Has 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
The program is limited to one monthly service discount per household. Eligible households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 toward the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating Hawaiʻi internet service providers if the household contributes a minimum of $10 towards the purchase price.
The participating Hawaiʻi internet service providers for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program currently include:
- American Broadband and Telecommunications Company
- Charter Spectrum
- Cricket Wireless
- Hawaii Dialogix Telecom
- Hawaiian Telcom
- Selectel Wireless