Recently, NDIA filed reply comments to the FCC focusing on the need for community-based outreach of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. According to the language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the FCC has exactly sixty days from the enactment of the bill to create the rules for the program. This deadline is February 26th making these reply comments our final opportunity to highlight this issue. In the comments, we recommended that the FCC allocate $30 million of its allowed $64 million in EBB program administration dollars to the states, tribes and territories to disburse for community-based outreach.
Our main points:
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 allocated zero monies for the outreach of this program, which will be needed if we want families across the country to benefit from EBB.
- Programs that increase the likelihood of successful home internet adoption include informed advocates who understand the low-cost broadband offerings and the needs of low-income households.
In order to successfully execute EBB, community based organizations have to be able to market to households. It is important that CBOs and other anchor institutions are able to communicate with their respective communities about their options. By providing this funding, community members will be more aware of their options and be empowered to make informed decisions when signing up for the services available.