Jessica Rosenworcel, a commissioner with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), speaks at INTX: The Internet & Television Expo in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. The eveSource: Bloomberg

What you need to know

  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit program launches today.
  • The program is part of a COVID-19 relief package to provide discounts for internet services and computers.
  • The program will last until funds are depleted or after the pandemic is declared over.

The FCC has announced the start of its Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which seeks to provide discounted internet services to eligible homes. The program is a $3.2 billion COVID-19 relief package to make internet access more affordable for households with certain needs.

Eligible households will qualify for discounts on internet access of up to $50 per month, while some tribal lands can receive $75 per month. The program will also discount as much as $100 off the cost of a computer or tablet.

Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel (pictured) has been a strong proponent of increasing access to the internet and highlights the positive impact this program will have as families cope with the effects of the pandemic:

It's an investment in American families and a vote of confidence in the economic power of getting us all online.

High-speed internet service is vital for families to take advantage of today's health, education, and workplace opportunities. And the discount for laptops and desktop computers will continue to have positive impact even after this temporary discount program wraps up.

The program includes some of the best wireless carriers in the U.S. and various broadband services. Many of the 825+ companies listed offer connected devices, although it will depend on your state. The program will discount the cost of connected devices as long as the eligible participant contributes between $10-$50 towards the purchase price.

Customers can find more information and enroll in the program through the official website. The FCC ensures that the program will continue until the funds are depleted or six months after the pandemic is declared over, whichever comes first.

Even if you don't qualify, there are plenty of options for affordable smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks. You can check out our lists of some of the best cheap Android tablets like the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus.

Affordable entertainment

Amazon Fire Hd 8 Plus Render

Fire HD 8 Plus

Good for the family

Amazon makes some of the best tablets, particularly thanks to their low price and kid-friendly features. The Fire HD 8 Plus is a great device with a whopping 12-hour battery life and wireless charging, making it ideal for the household.

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