Emergency Broadband Benefit

Program Details

The federal government created the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help households who meet certain criteria better afford high-speed broadband Internet. Watch Communications is proud to participate in this program. For our customers, this temporary program is simple: if you meet the eligibility listed below, you will see a discounted price for your Internet package on your monthly bill. You do not have to apply for reimbursement either from us or the government but you do have to register for the program.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit began on May 12. Please see the eligibility criteria below to determine if you or someone in your household qualifies. All eligible households must apply through the Universal Services Administrative Company. You can go to this page to see more information about the program and eligibility criteria.

Existing Watch Communications customers who have questions about the program can call our Customer Service department at 855-429-1258. New customers who are interested in starting Internet service through Watch can also call 855-429-1258 and talk with our Sales Department about what Internet package is the best fit.

Since this is a brand-new program, we ask your patience if you do not see the benefit immediately applied. If that happens, please contact customer service and have your registration number available. You can find more information here.

*Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

 

Under the program, eligible households may receive:

  • Up to a $50 per month discount on broadband services
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. Note: supplies are very limited.

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 Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household. The participating broadband service provider will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

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.

How do know if I am eligible for the program?

A household is eligible if one member of the household:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?

No, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on broadband service of up to $50 per eligible household. Watch Communications will receive the funds directly from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and apply it to your account.

Can I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I have a past due balance with the provider?

Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.

Can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit 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.

I live in a multi-unit dwelling (for example, an apartment building) and we pay the property manager/landlord a monthly fee for our Internet. Can I get the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

Yes. If you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, talk to your property manager/landlord and ask that they work with their broadband service provider to learn more about the benefits that might be available to you and other eligible residents.

Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses

Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $50 per month?

You may be able to do so. Talk to your provider about the plans they have available as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for broadband service, do I pay the extra myself?

Yes. You are responsible for any amount over $50 per month for broadband service under the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV, and phone. Can I apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to my monthly bill?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice, texting and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.

Can part of the monthly discount cover my router rental fee?

Yes. The monthly discount can be used to cover routers, modems, hotspot devices, and antennas, if offered as monthly rental costs in addition to your broadband service cost.

How does the $100 device benefit work?

Participating broadband service providers can be reimbursed up to $100 if they supply a connected device to a household, as long as the household pays more than $10 but less than $50 for the device. In other words, to take advantage of this benefit, it must be done through your participating broadband provider, and you must contribute a portion of the cost. The device benefit is limited to a laptop, a desktop computer, or a tablet.  It does not include cell phones, large phones, or “phablets” that can make cellular calls.

If my child and I are part of the same household, can we each get our own connected device through the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

No.  Each household is limited to a single device discount.

When can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

Go here to determine if you are eligible for the program. If you are eligible, follow the links on that page to complete your application. https://getemergencybroadband.org/

Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $50 per month?

Yes! The $50 per month discount provided through the Emergency Broadband Benefit 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?

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