Emergency Broadband Benefit 12 May

The emergency broadband benefit (ebb) starts on 12th May for low income households. This is not lifeline but a new program launched because of the pandemic. It provides a $50 discount off broadband or cellphone plans with data for however long funds last or 6 months after the pandemic is over (whichever comes first). There is a large list of providers participating such as xfinity, safelink, cricket, att and tmobile.

There are qualifying rules for low income but they also will let you have it if you had a substantial loss of income. Rather than type it all out see below for full details and to apply.

They've cut it pretty close to the wire to identify participating vendors. A week ago, this info was not available. It is now. Look for Companies Near Me in the top banner menu.
The surprise for me is how many fixed-location internet providers are in my area. I have a feeling it would still take some legwork: Cox is listed in my zip code as a fixed location internet provider, but Cox doesn't provide service in my neighborhood.

Yes it is all very rushed and vendors are all after a piece of the pie. All these new customers who wouldn't normally spend on expensive plans will have $50+ to spend.

I'm a little concerned what will happen after the money runs out. Unfortunately many people will carry on with a plan they can't afford and end up getting into more trouble. Hopefully not. I do hope they have some safeguards set up. Some need help and don't have anyone trustworthy to guide them through. At least if you go with a lifeline provider your plan will just revert back to what it was before ebb.

Looks like many vendors are not ready or plan on manually processing discounts in stores. Att and xfinity say "coming soon". Cricket and boost have no info. Chatting with cricket advised me to go in store. Tmobile page is live but requires you to be an existing customer and log in. Looks like safelink is ready to go but lifeline providers should have an easier time since many customers are already verified.

What are the best deals available using this new emergency broadband service?

All are good if you qualify. Other than most postpaid plans which will still cost you $30-50 after the discount.

For prepaid cellular plans there is att prepaid, cricket, tmobile prepaid, metro and boost. All will give you a free plan or heavily discounted.

There aren't many others as most are lifeline brands like safelink and qlink
If you are already a lifeline customer you can get a better plan with unlimited everything and some hotspot. Normal lifeline plans have something like 300 minutes and 4gb data a month.

Most of the focus is on postapid which they really shouldn't as they are not really suitable plans for those with tight budgets.

For broadband pretty much all the main ones will give you $50 off a month.

Redpocket are participating now with a 30gb plan

Not all States are covered