Xfinity by Comcast is one of the network carriers that participated in providing the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program on behalf of the government. The EBB program aimed to provide free or affordable internet to people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in collaboration with internet providers such as Xfinity. People could only get the Emergency Broadband Benefit program Xfinity if they qualify.
The EBB provided several benefits, including a $50 per month discount on internet bills from Xfinity. Applying for the program is straightforward and less demanding. This article discusses what it takes to apply for EBB program via Xfinity to help you quickly join in on the fun.
What is Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Xfinity
The Emergency Broadband Program was created by the U.S. Congress, targeting people in low-income households with free or affordable internet. The FCC set aside $3.2 billion to provide discounts on internet bills.
When it was active, the EBB reduced customers’ phone bills by nearly $50. Those living on Tribal Lands got a monthly $75 Internet bill discount. For those needing a laptop or desktop, there was a one-time $100 discount for a device per household. However, consumers had to co-pay $10 to $50.
Despite its many benefits, the EBB program was temporary, lasting until December 31, 2021, when it was replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The transition period to ACP was three months to the end of March 2021. Therefore, the EBB no longer exists.
Even though the EBB was a government program, the FCC didn’t provide internet discounts and affordable devices. It worked through internet broadband providers and wireless carriers such as Xfinity Comcast.
What Is the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) replaced the EBB program in April 2022. Since the government had already declared an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only natural thing was to initiate the termination of the EBB.
With the ACP, customers from low-income families get a $30 discount on the monthly internet bill. Living on Tribal lands, you’ll enjoy a $75 monthly internet bill discount. The eligibility criteria for the ACP involve you or any of your family members meeting the following criteria:
- Participation in or qualification for Lifeline Assistance
- Recipient of the Pell Grant in the last 12 months
- Approval for School Breakfast Program (SBP) or National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Eligibility for some government assistance programs for low-income families
- Recipient of the Subsidized Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
ACP is also available via network providers such as Xfinity Comcast as a replacement for the EBB. However, since the COVID-19 emergency is over, the discount is reduced even though people who had participated in EBB qualify automatically, and the eligibility criteria have changed.
For example, families who lost income in 2002 no longer qualify for the ACP. Also, low-income families must prove that their income is not more than 200% of existing Federal Poverty Guidelines, up from the EBB’s 135%.
The effective date for the ACP was December 31, 2021, with a 60-day transition period for those on the EBB. Those already enrolled in EBB continued enjoying the same benefits until the end of the transition period.
Signing Up for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Xfinity
When it was in operation, the EBB provided various ways eligible individuals could sign up. The following are the different methods of signing up for the EBB:
- Online application by visiting Emergency Broadband official website.
- Calling or chatting online with Xfinity Comcast
- Locating a participating broadband provider through the EBB tool
- Printing, filling out, and mailing an application to the address:
- Emergency Broadband Support Center,
- P.O Box 7081,
- London, KY 40742
Requirements for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Xfinity
Every time someone signs up for the EBB, the system automatically attempts to authenticate their personal information. If, for some reason, the program doesn’t obtain the correct information, you’ll need to supply supporting documentation.
Some of the documents you need to apply for the EBB include the following:
- Paycheck stubs
- The previous year’s tax returns
- Child support documentation
- Social Security Number
- Documentation showing participation in government assistance
If you are in doubt about your qualification for EBB, check out the information available on the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) website, which runs the National Verifier.
However, if you participate in Lifeline Assistance, you may not need to complete an application for the EBB. You don’t need to change anything if you’re already an Xfinity Comcast customer. The automatic qualification also applies to those participating in a COVID-19 or low-income program.
Qualifications for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Xfinity
You can participate in the EBB by Xfinity in various ways. The following is the eligibility criteria for the program:
- Participation in Medicaid
- Federal Poverty Housing Assistance
- Subsidized Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
- Tribal Lands Programs
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Recipient of Federal Pell Grant in the current year
- Proof of low income below 135% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Loss of income in 2020
- Meeting the criteria for Xfinity COVID-19 or low income
How to Enroll in Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Xfinity
Comcast Xfinity allows individuals from low-income families to enroll in the ACP differently. For instance, you can join the program as a new Xfinity customer or an existing client. Here are the different ways of enrolling into ACP through Xfinity:
1. New Customers
As a new customer, you should sign up for Xfinity Internet via the network carrier’s website. Then, you should check your eligibility status through the National Verifier. If you meet the eligibility criteria, fill out the Xfinity ACP application form.
You’ll need to enter your National Verifier application ID, name, date of birth, and address. After submitting your application, you may wait up to 48 minutes to get a response from Xfinity.
New applicants for the Xfinity Internet Essentials can call 1-855-8-INTERNET or go to internet essentials website. After checking eligibility with the National Verifier, you can apply for the ACP.
Prepaid internet customers can hand in an application at an Xfinity Prepaid retail store or xfinity prepaid. Then they should check eligibility through the National Verifier and call 1-844-963-0288 to apply for the ACP.
2. Existing Xfinity Customers
If you already participate in Xfinity Internet or Xfinity Internet Essentials, you should go straight to the National Verifier. Then complete the Xfinity ACP enrolment form by entering your National Verifier ID. Your details with the National Verifier should match those on the application form.
Xfinity Prepaid Internet users should call 1-844-963-0288 to apply for the ACP. On the other hand, those on Xfinity Mobile Only should call 10844-389-4681. The waiting period is similar to those joining Xfinity as new customers.
The Bottom Line
The Emergency Broadband Benefits program Xfinity was one of how the government sought to make life more bearable for low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was replaced by the ACP, which is currently operational.
In March 2022, EBB beneficiaries were expected to have shifted to the ACP. But the ACP admits new members using elaborate eligibility criteria that involve participation in a government assistance program and low-income status.
Frequently Asked Questions
The USAC manages the EBB and has the infrastructure to verify eligibility and link with internet service providers. After signing up, you can choose an internet service provider such as Xfinity. When you pay your monthly internet bill, it will be less than the discounted amount.
No, the EBB pays Xfinity directly. However, if your internet service cost is lower than the EBB discount, you won’t get the additional funds in cash. Instead, you’ll enjoy Xfinity internet services free of charge.
Yes. EBB can discount a service bundle if it includes internet broadband. USAC sends the discount directly to Xfinity. Services like calling and texting might not be covered.
Yes, you might have to switch to Xfinity if you’re on a plan that doesn’t work. The FCC encourages EBB applicants to select a suitable plan from a network carrier to participate in the program. That’s because the plan depends on the network carrier’s offer.
No, participation in Lifeline Assistance is one of the ways to qualify for EBB. But your EBB membership is not automatic. You must contact Xfinity to opt in. Then you can start enjoying the EBB discount.