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Emergency Broadband Benefit providers

FCC program to help low income families afford internet access

Emergency Broadband Benefit carriers list

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an internet assistance program launched in May 2021 by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The EBB is being funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, passed into law in December 2020.

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This program was set up to make it easier for low income customers to maintain internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic. New and existing customers can apply for a $50 discount on either their monthly home internet bill or their mobile data plan.

That means you can choose to use the discount on your cell phone plan, as long as it provides some combination of broadband internet, voice and/or texts.

Tribal land residents are eligible to receive a $75 monthly discount on their internet service.

Some providers are participating in the device benefit part of the EBB. This is a feature that lets you buy a tablet or data device from the provider for a copay of $10-50.

Whether you're looking for a new cell phone plan or you already have one we'll show you how to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Emergency Broadband Benefit participating cell phone providers

Each wireless provider handles the EBB in its own way. In general, you'll need to verify your eligibility using the application available here. There are several ways to qualify, including being a Medicaid or SNAP recipient.

Once you've been qualified for the program you'll typically contact your preferred provider to learn how to sign up for service or have the discount applied to your bill.

Part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit is a device benefit. This aspect allows customers to buy a connected device like a laptop, desktop, or tablet at a reduced price. The device benefit cannot be applied to a cell phone and not all providers have eligible devices available.

Below we've gathered information on participating wireless providers. More are signing up all the time so be sure to check the FCC provider list frequently if you don't see yours here.

AirVoice Wireless

AirVoice Wireless is a prepaid cell phone provider that runs on the AT&T network. At this time they don't have specific details about the EBB on their website. Your best bet if you already have an AirVoice Wireless cell phone plan is to verify your eligibility then contact AirVoice to find out how to enroll in the EBB.


AT&T Mobility

The AT&T Emergency Broadband Benefit is available in three eligible prepaid phone plan options plus a tablet/hotspot data version.

  • Free with EBB: 15GB high speed data, comes with mobile hotspot use and unlimited talk and text

  • Free with EBB and autopay: Unlimited high speed data with option to add mobile hotspot data for $10 per 5GB

  • $10/month with EBB and autopay: Unlimited high speed data, 5G access, 10GB of mobile hotspot data, HD video streaming

  • $5 with EBB: 100GB tablet or hotspot data

All of the phone plans come with unlimited talk and text to and within Canada and Mexico plus unlimited text messages to over 100 countries.

AT&T is not offering connected devices for the device benefit.


enTouch Wireless

enTouch Wireless is a Lifeline phone service provider. Their free Emergency Broadband Benefit plan includes 20GB of 4G LTE data.

If you already receive Lifeline services you can choose from one of two options. You can apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to your current plan or you can add a new plan and phone number to your account. Your EBB discount would be applied to the new plan.

The FCC provider list indicates that enTouch Wireless is participating in the device benefit, however no further information is currently available. Contact the provider to find out if they are supplying discounted devices in association with the EBB.


Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless is an MVNO that operates on the AT&T network. This Emergency Broadband Benefit provider offers three plan choices for using the discount program. Prices with EBB are:

  • $10/month: Unlimited data, 15GB of mobile hotspot data, 150GB of cloud storage

  • $5/month: Unlimited high speed data

  • $5/month: 100GB data only plan (for tablets or hotspots)

It's important to note that if you're a Tribal land resident you'll get a $75 internet discount. With Cricket if your total bill with the EBB is $0 you will have to use your service every month in order to keep the benefit.

Cricket Wireless is not participating in the device benefit. They make it simple to start the process of applying by providing links on their EBB webpage.


Boost Mobile

If you want to use your Emergency Broadband Benefit with a Boost Mobile plan you're in luck. This T-Mobile MVNO makes it simple to apply by way of an integrated application form right on their website.

Boost Mobile is offering a 35GB phone plan or mobile internet plan for use with the EBB. Both current and new customers can apply for the discount.

According to the FCC Boost is participating in the device benefit portion of the EBB. Contact the provider directly for more information.


Gen Mobile

You can use the EBB with Gen Mobile. This smaller carrier sells cheap phone plans on the 4G LTE/5G Sprint and T-Mobile networks. They have regular phone plans as well as data only plans.

There's no specific information available yet on how Gen Mobile is handling the Emergency Broadband Benefit so you'll want to contact them for information.


StandUp Wireless

This Lifeline carrier makes it simple to apply your EBB to your existing account. All you do is sign into your account and opt in to the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

The StandUp Wireless plan includes unlimited talk and text plus 10GB data on one of the major 4G LTE/5G networks.

If you're a new customer you can start your application on the StandUp Wireless website. They then guide you through the process of verifying that you're eligible. If you qualify they'll send you a free SIM card so you can get your service activated.


Q Link Wireless

This T-Mobile MVNO is a Lifeline provider that is also participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. If you qualify you can get unlimited talk, text and data at no cost.

Q Link is also participating in the device benefit portion of the program. If eligible you can buy a tablet supplied by the carrier at the discounted rate of $10.01.

Existing and new customers can visit the Q Link Wireless EBB page for information on signing up through this provider.


Red Pocket

Red Pocket Mobile sells phone plans on all three major wireless networks. For purposes of the EBB Red Pocket will provide qualifying customers with service on their GSM networks, which means T-Mobile and AT&T.

Here's how it will work with this wireless carrier:

  • Eligible customers get unlimited talk and text, plus 30GB of high speed data per month.

  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit is available to new or existing Red Pocket customers.

  • If you're an existing customer you will have to get a new phone number and SIM card.

Red Pocket is available in 14 states. You can check if they serve your area by visiting the Red Pocket EBB webpage.

This carrier also has a designated page to get the application process started.

While the FCC EBB website indicates that Red Pocket is participating in the device benefit, there is no information available on the carrier website. You should contact them to find out more information.


TruConnect

TruConnect is a Lifeline phone plan provider that runs on the nationwide Sprint and T-Mobile networks. Lifeline customers can opt in for the EBB or you can apply for a new account.

TruConnect Emergency Broadband Benefit plan options:

  • California customers - unlimited talk and text plus 14GB of 4G LTE data, includes mobile hotspot use

  • Outside of California - unlimited talk and text messaging with 12.5GB of 4G LTE data, includes mobile hotspot use

  • Data only - 8GB of high speed data and your choice of a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot device or Android handset

TruConnect is offering a discounted 8" Android tablet as part of the device benefit option. You can start your Emergency Broadband Benefit application on the TruConnect website.


Selectel Wireless

Selectel runs on the nationwide Verizon Wireless network. This carrier offers a range of cell phone plans from 100MB of high speed data up to unlimited data plans.

According to the FCC Selectel Wireless is participating in the device benefit. You may need to contact the provider for details.

Get the Emergency Broadband Benefit application process started right from the Selectel Wireless website.


Life Wireless

Life Wireless is a Lifeline carrier offering the EBB on top of your Lifeline benefits or on a separate line. Life Wireless runs on the nationwide 4G LTE AT&T network.

This carrier has one Emergency Broadband Benefit plan. You get unlimited talk and text messaging plus 30GB of high speed data.

If you choose to combine your Lifeline and EBB programs you'll get this plan for free. If you want to use the EBB separately you'll pay $10 a month for the plan.

Existing customers can opt in directly from the Life Wireless website.


SafeLink Wireless

Another Lifeline provider, SafeLink typically uses the T-Mobile network for its service.

The SafeLink EBB plan comes with:

  • Unlimited talk and text messages

  • Unlimited data (after you hit a set amount of high speed data your speeds will be reduced)

  • 10-15GB hotspot data (amount depends on which state you live in)

  • Free international calling to select countries

If you're an existing customer you can simply opt in on the SafeLink Wireless EBB page. New customers will need to apply for Lifeline services with SafeLink first.


Ultra Mobile

Ultra Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO. That means they offer wireless service that runs on the nationwide 4G LTE and 5G T-Mobile network.

This EBB participating provider offers a wide range of plans, from 250MB of high speed data up to unlimited data. All plans come with unlimited talk and text. You'll need to contact the carrier to find out which plans they're including in the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Ultra Mobile doesn't have a direct link to sign up for the EBB on their website yet, however you can still verify that you're eligible using the government's application. Then you would contact Ultra to apply your benefit to a plan.


Good2Go Mobile

This AT&T MVNO offers a wide range of plans with unlimited talk and text and up to 20GB of high speed data.

If you're an existing customer or you want to start a new Good2Go Mobile account to use with the EBB you should apply at the government's verification site. Then you can follow the necessary steps to sign up with Good2Go Mobile.


T-Mobile

If you're already with T-Mobile you're in luck because they're participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. This major carrier is making all of their divisions eligible - wireless, home internet, Sprint customers, Metro by T-Mobile, and prepaid phone service.

T-Mobile suggests visiting a store or calling customer care to find out which plans are available with the EBB. You should also do so if you want to sign up as a new customer.

To opt in, follow the links and instructions on T-Mobile's EBB page.


US Cellular

US Cellular is a lesser known independent carrier with its own wireless network. Although this provider has its only towers in a handful of states it is partnered with the major carriers to provide solid nationwide coverage.

As far as US Cellular and the EBB goes, the carrier is participating in the program. They feature unlimited talk, text, and data on all of their phone plans, along with hotspot data on the upper tiers.

Visit the US Cellular EBB webpage for links to opt in or apply for a new account.


Verizon

Verizon Wireless is offering a wide range of plans to choose from for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Eligible options include:

  • Any Mix & Match Unlimited mobile phone service plan (existing customers must have or switch to one of these to use the EBB with their wireless plan)

  • Standalone mobile hotspot plans

  • Any Fios Mix & Match internet plan

  • 5G Home internet plans

  • LTE Home internet plans

New customers must activate one of the above services before they can sign up for the EBB with Verizon. The carrier asks that existing customers call 1-800-922-0204 and ask for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

At this time there's no indication that Verizon Wireless is offering the device benefit.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

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