The subsidy will be provided through a Federal Communications Commission initiative called the Affordable Connectivity Program.
“The internet is a powerful tool that is needed in a person’s daily life,” City Manager T.C. Broadnax said in a statement. “This program will help the city of Dallas make strides in crossing the digital divide and creating a more equitable city.”
Providing increased access to internet has been an initiative of the city, with Dallas City Council agreeing unanimously during its April 27 regular meeting to share costs with DISD for an independent consultant to assess the state of the city’s broadband internet supply.
In addition to the subsidy, the program also provides up to a $100 discount per household toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop or tablet, according to the city’s press release. To receive the discount, the household would need to contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
City officials said residents will be able to sign up for the program at the mayor’s Back to School Fair on Aug. 5 at Fair Park in the Centennial and Automobile buildings.
“Access to technology and the internet is vital for the future of our children and our workforce,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement. “I am excited about what this program can do to help our historically underserved and overlooked communities, and I encourage our residents to take advantage of these offers. Together, we can build a more equitable and vibrant 21st century city.”
According to the press release, a household is eligible for the subsidy if it meets at least one of following the criteria.
- The household income is at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
- The household participates in certain assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance or Supplemental Security Income.
- The household is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the U.S. Drug Administration Community Eligibility Provision.
- The household meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.
Eligible households can also enroll through a participating broadband provider or by submitting an online or mail-in application, according to city officials. Those who submit an application must still contact their preferred participating broadband provider to select a plan.
Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available here or by calling 877-384-2575 between 8 a.m.-8 p.m.