Customer Assistance Programs
Watch Communications participates in federal and private assistance programs to help customers better afford their monthly internet bills or purchase devices at a significant discount.
If you are struggling to pay down your current bill, please call Watch Customer Service to discuss options that may be available such as installment plans that can be tailored to your budget.
The Lifeline Program is a federal government program that can help low-income families lower their monthly phone or Internet bills. Eligible customers can receive up to $5.25 toward their bill each month. Lifeline can be used for either phone or internet – but not both.
If a subscriber chooses to use the Lifeline benefit for broadband services, the discount will be $9.25 per month. Learn more here.
Watch currently offers Lifeline only in Connect America II Fund areas of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Call us 1-800-589-3837 to see if you live in an eligible area.
The Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a federal program created by Congress in 2021 to help low-income households better afford broadband internet service. This program replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which was a temporary program created in 2020 to help households with internet costs in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this program, eligible households may receive up to $30 off their monthly internet bill. Subscribers may apply this discount to any internet plan Watch offers.
The eligibility criteria for this new program no longer includes a substantial financial loss. Households must participate in certain government assistance programs. Learn more about the eligibility criteria here.
All customers currently participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit will be automatically transferred into the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Beginning Friday, Dec. 31, customers who are not currently participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit may apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program here.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR CURRENT CUSTOMERS: Customers who are currently participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit will continue to receive the $50 per month benefit until the Feb. 18, 2022, billing statement. At that time, the benefit will be $30 per month, per the program.
PCs for People: Making Devices Affordable
PCs for People is a nonprofit organization that refurbishes desktop and laptop computers and distributes them to eligible recipients at a discounted price.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?
To receive technology from PCs for People, a potential recipient must be below the 200% poverty level or be currently enrolled in an income-based government assistance program. You can read more about eligibility and about the documentation required by clicking here.
Nonprofit organizations may be eligible for discounted devices. Learn more about that here.
Customers Participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program Can Qualify for A Discounted Device
Customers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program are eligible to purchase a device through PCs for People and pay just $20 for a refurbished desktop computer or $49 for a refurbished laptop. Tax will be added to your total at the time of purchase.
Devices are limited to one per household. Households that received a device under the Emergency Broadband Benefit are not eligible to receive another device at this time.
The devices are refurbished computers with the Windows 10 operating system and Microsoft Office. A one-year warranty is included.
Processing Customer Computer Orders
Customers will order computers directly from PCs for People via a private portal. But you must first call Watch Communications Customer Service to enroll in this program. Call us at 855-429-1258 to enroll.
Closing the Digital Divide
Closing the digital divide means more than just access to the internet and computers! The PCs for People team is ready to support Watch Communications customers to increase their knowledge and skills to best utilize their new computers.
Watch Communications also partners with Microsoft to expand access to broadband internet through Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. You can build digital skills through their expertise as well. Go here to learn more.
Through PCs for People, you can learn:
General skills: “How do I connect my computer to the internet?” “How do I open a browser?” We’ve got you covered! Go here.
Next-level learning: “How can I advance my digital skills to pursue a new career?” Our Specialists are trained to learn about your career goals and guide you towards relevant courses that are offered for free through Microsoft and LinkedIn, then support you as you complete them. Learn more here.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The program has been authorized by the FCC, but the start date has not yet been established. The FCC is working to make the benefit available as quickly as possible, and you should be able to sign up by the end of April 2021.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No. The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $30 per eligible household. This will be applied directly to customers’ internet bill.
When can I sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Beginning Dec. 31, 2021, eligible customers may apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program here.
How do know if I am eligible for the program?
A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if one member of the household:
- Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
- Participates in certain government assistance programs;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- If your income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You may need to show a card, letter, or official document as proof that you participate in one of these programs when you apply for the ACP. You can find the full list of eligible government assistance programs here.
Can I sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?
Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing customers of participating providers.
Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $30 per month?
Yes! The $30 per month discount provided through the Affordable Connectivity Program can be applied to all of Watch’s residential Internet plans. This is a great time to upgrade if you or your family needs more bandwidth or wants to increase your connection speed.
Interested in other Residential Services?
Watch Communications has products and services for every purpose: eLearning platforms, conference & video calls, TV fanatics, streamers, gamers, and sports superfans. Check out the other services we offer.