Assistance Programs

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.

Complete this form fill and select which Assistance Program you'd like to discuss.

Lifeline

The Lifeline Program is a federal government program that can help low-income families lower their monthly phone or Internet bills. Please note that assistance for phone bills will end Dec. 1, 2021. Eligible customers can receive up to $9.25 toward their bill each month. Lifeline can be used for either phone or internet – but not both.

Learn more about Lifeline here. You can learn about the eligibility criteria and apply by going to this link.

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.

Emergency Broadband Benefit

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 temporary 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 Watch or the government, but you do have to register for the program and call Watch Communications Customer Service to provide us with your proof of eligibility. After completing your application, you will receive a Customer ID number that you will need to give us so that we can apply the discount to your account.

Learn more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit and how to apply here.

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 Emergency Broadband Benefit Can Qualify for A Discounted Device

If you are participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you 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 added to your total at the time of purchase.

PCS FOR PEOPLE HOTLINE

(651) 800-9097

Monday–Friday, 10:00am –8:00pm EST

Saturday, Noon –3:00pm EST

Email digitalskills@pcsforpeople.org

Device Details

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 digitalskills@pcsforpeople.org with questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Emergency Broadband Benefit

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?

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.