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Cricket Wireless, AT&T, And Others To Offer Free Phone Plans Under FCC’s EBB Program

FCC EBB Program Will Give Eligible Persons Free Broadband Wireless Or Home Internet Plan
FCC EBB Program Will Give Eligible Persons Free Broadband Wireless Or Home Internet Plan

By Joe Paonessa – May 2, 2021
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Starting on May 12th, eligible persons can enroll in the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The program is temporary and it has been designed to help families and households that are struggling to afford home or wireless internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Persons/households that are eligible for the program will receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service from a participating provider and up to $75 a month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Households can also receive up to a $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop, computer, or tablet from a participating provider if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 towards the purchase price. There is a limit of one monthly service discount and one device discount allowed per household.

EBB Program Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the program, an individual in a household must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (typically earns less than $14,820) or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
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If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can find out and apply for the program if eligible by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org/.

AT&T Prepaid And Cricket Wireless Are Two Of Many Providers Participating In The EBB Program

There are dozens upon dozens of providers participating in this program, including MVNOs such as Good2Go Mobile, Tracfone, and Boost Mobile. Major carriers and their prepaid brands such as AT&T, Cricket Wireless, T-Mobile, and Verizon are also participating. Available providers do vary a bit from state to state. You can check out the full list of participating providers in your state by visiting https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers.

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AT&T and Cricket Wireless have notified BestMVNO of what plans they are participating in the program with. You can check them out below.

Eligible Cricket Wireless Plans

Cricket PlanDetailsMonthly Price After EBB Discount
Cricket Core Phone PlanUnlimited Talk, Text, & Data No HotspotFree after autopay discount (reg $50)
Cricket More Phone PlanUnlimited Talk, Text, & Data + 15GB Hotspot$5 after autopay discount (reg $55)
Cricket Simply Data Only100GB data, data-only plan$5 (reg $55)
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Cricket Wireless has also setup a webpage describing its participation in the EBB program.

Eligible AT&T Prepaid Plans

AT&T Prepaid PlanDetailsMonthly Price After EBB Discount
AT&T Prepaid Data Only15GB high-speed data, data-only planFree (reg $35)
AT&T Prepaid Data Only55GB high-speed data, data-only plan$5 (reg $55)
AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Phone PlanUnlimited Talk, Text, & Data No HotspotFree after autopay (reg $50)
AT&T Prepaid Unlimited Phone PlanUnlimited Talk, Text, & Data + 10GB hotspot, 100GB cloud storage, and 5G network access$10 after autopay (reg $60)

In addition to the AT&T Prepaid plans described above, AT&T intends to announce postpaid wireless and home internet service plans that will also be eligible for the program.


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