ALA welcomes new Emergency Broadband Benefit program
For Immediate Release
Assistant Director, Communications
ALA Public Policy and Advocacy
On February 25, the FCC voted to formally adopt a Report and Order that establishes the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to provide qualifying households discounts on their internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet. ALA issued the following statement:
“The American Library Association and library workers nationwide welcome the creation of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program as one step among many needed to address longstanding barriers to broadband access and use,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “K-12 school, college and university, and public libraries see first-hand the digital chasms so many students, families, and people of all ages have experienced.
“Library staff have worked tirelessly to keep our communities and campuses connected by extending our Wi-Fi access, lending hotspots and devices, calling and assisting people trying to use online vaccine portals, and expanding digital resources. We are committed to these vital digital inclusion roles and look forward to increasing awareness and empowering participation for those most in need.”
The FCC has developed an overview fact sheet about the program, and ALA will coordinate directly with FCC leadership to engage and support libraries in outreach and education activities in the 60-day lead-up to the program start. In the meantime, libraries may sign up to receive important updates and information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit program at www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.