When COVID-19 struck the country, many things took a paradigm shift. From the way people interact to the way they work, there are many ways that this pandemic affected the lives of people living not only in the U.S but all over the world. As a result, the government imposed lockdowns in many places, thereby restricting people from doing business as usual. This also affected the economy, raising the cost of living.
As a result, poor families were greatly affected. Most of them could not afford basic needs leave alone tablets or other communication devices. This pushed the government to introduce a program known as Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). This program was meant to provide free or discounted broadband services to anyone that qualifies. Since the program is new in the market, most people are unaware of what it offers and what it doesn’t. Where can I get a tablet with the EBB program? This is among the most asked questions from people who are in urge to know more about the program. In this article, we shall take an in-depth look at where you can get a tablet with the EBB program to answer your questions.
Does EBB Program Provide a Government Free Tablet
EBB was formulated with a similar concept to the famous lifeline program. The only difference is that EBB was created to help families that were grievously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Basically, the concept was there to relieve internet costs to households so that they can work online, study online, and get virtual health services seamlessly. Therefore, eligible household members get discounts on internet plans as well as internet accessible gadgets such as Government free tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Therefore, EBB program does not provide a government free tablet. However, they give a huge discount on tablets making them affordable to eligible households.
Besides getting a discounted tablet, all eligible individuals can now get discounts of up to $50 on all their internet plans. This can actually make it possible for you to remain connected without hurting your budget. However, you must meet some eligibility requirements for you to get a free tablet. Below are the eligibility criteria for this program.
Where Can I Get a Tablet With The EBB Program
The good news is that there are many carriers that participate in the EBB program. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s not certain whether a carrier provides free tablets from EBB or not. It’s always advisable to contact them and inquire about the free tablet. Below are service providers that participate in EBB program and are most likely to give out free tablets.
- Cintex Wireless
- K&D Wireless
- PCs for People
- Q Link Wireless
- Sano Health
- Southern Linc
- StandUp Wireless
- Excess Telecom
- C Spire Wireless
- Access Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Boost Mobile
- Viaero Wireless
- Etheric Networks
- EnTouch Wireless
Who Are Eligible For Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Free Tablet
For you to get the EBB program tablet, there are an array of eligibility requirements that you should meet. Here are some of the eligibility requirements that can make you qualify to get a tablet from the EBB program:
- Your income should be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. It is imperative to note that these guidelines are homogenous in all states. However, you should keep an eye on the current poverty rate in your state and then use that as a guideline. Ideally, your current poverty rate should be within that range for you to qualify.
- You are among the people who lost a substantial loss of income as a result of losing your jobs since February 29, 2020. Also, you qualify if your household’s income in 2020 was at or below $990000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
- Meet the eligibility criteria set by your participating lifeline aid program.
- You have been approved to enjoy a free and reduced-price school breakfast or lunch program through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in either the 2019-2020 or – 2020-2021 academic year.
- You have received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Tablet Application Process
If you have applied for the Lifeline Assistance program in the past, you will note that the application process is almost the same as that of the EBB program. However, if you want to get an EBB tablet, you need to first apply and be approved for the EBB program. If you are eligible, you can now go ahead and then apply for a tablet. Here is the process to get started:
1. Choose your service provider
Since there are many service providers who work with EBB, there is a need to choose your service provider of choice and then apply through it. Note that not all EBB service providers give discounted tablets from the government. Therefore, you should contact your provider to confirm the same. If the provider provides the free tablet, you can proceed with the next step.
2. Check if you qualify
Once you have chosen your preferred service provider, you contact them to inquire about your eligibility criteria. This is because different providers have different eligibility criteria. Eligibility also varies with your state of residence. Therefore, confirm from the provider if you really qualify to benefit from the program. If you meet their requirements, go ahead and apply for an EBB tablet.
To apply for the program, there are many methods available. Among many online applications is the easiest method. To apply online, EBB official website, and then you will be redirected to a different page where you will see an application form. Fill the form by entering personal details such as,
- Your full legal name
- Your date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Your Driver’s license number
- Your Tribal ID
Besides this, you may be required to attach images of the documents mentioned above for authentication purposes. After that, you should fill in your address and then ensure that everything is correct before submitting your application.
Once you have submitted your application, the next step is to wait for the approval process. In most cases, you may have to wait for a few business days before your application gets approved. If you meet all the necessary requirements, you will be notified promptly.
5. Get your tablet
Once approved, the tablet will be delivered to you. In fact, the shipping process may start immediately, and you may be able to get your tablet within a few days. On the other hand, if you made mistakes during the application, you may have to submit your application again. Finally, if your application is rejected, you will be contacted as well.
Which areas are covered by the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The EBB program is available in nearly all states in the USA. However, to determine the service provider available in your state that participates in this program, you should first visit the emergency broadband official site and start searching for it. Chances are that you will get one or more service providers within your state that you can apply through and be good to go.
What kind of tablets are available under the EBB program?
Generally, there is no specific tablet model or brand that is set for the EBB program. It is actually upon the service provider to decide whether it will offer it or not. Also, most of these services providers usually offer the available tablets and not the ones that you would generally wish to have.
The good news is that these tablets are either pre-owned, new, or refurbished. Also, they are always in good working condition. You can check with the participating service providers and see the kind of free tablets being offered by them.
Does my EBB-free tablet come with a warranty?
Yes. Most of the tablets come with a warranty from the manufacturer. However, the warranty periods usually vary. You can check with your service provider for more details.
Can existing Lifeline subscribers apply for an EBB tablet?
Yes. If you are a Lifeline subscriber, you can now apply for an EBB tablet. Since EBB and Lifeline are not mutually exclusive, be sure that you will benefit from these two programs simultaneously. In fact, being a lifeline participant automatically qualifies you to benefit from EBB program.
Can I choose my EBB provider?
Yes. You have the right to choose the EBB service provider that suits your needs. However, these service providers vary from one state to another. Some are present in more than one state. For optimal results, you should choose one that is available even in remote areas. This way, you will be able to enjoy more convenience. More importantly, you should choose one that will match its eligibility requirements.
With the hard economic times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, most families are now looking for ways to save money and remain connected with those they love. If you come from a low-income family, you can now apply for an EBB tablet, and you will be able to get one within a few days. Besides this, you will get some discount on your cellphone bills. This will reduce the overall communication costs and offer more convenience to you. Apply for an EBB tablet today, and you will enjoy the results.