The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the digital divide throughout the state. Now, thanks to Consolidated Appropriations Act becoming law, income-qualified families can receive temporary discounts on their monthly broadband bills, starting today.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act became law at the end of December 2020. The act established the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund of $3.2 billion to “help Americans afford internet service during the pandemic,” according to a press release by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
The fund will assist households with up to a $50 per month discount on internet services and associated equipment and a one-time discount on laptops, tablets or desktop computers, up to $100.
Longmont’s Nextlight announced today that they are offering a $50 per month discount for internet service under this program.
The community-owned internet provider already reduced its service fee to $25 per month for qualified families in 2020, according to a news release from Nextlight.
“The new EBB program allows the service to double that assistance, which would allow those customers to receive NextLight’s 100 megabit service for free or its gigabit service for $19.95 per month,” the news release states.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer so much to those members of our community who need it most,” NextLight executive director Valerie Dodd said. “This network was built by Longmont and for Longmont, and we want all of Longmont to benefit from it. This new program makes that even more of a reality, and we appreciate the support that has made it happen.”