Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

When can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

The program has been authorized by the FCC and is currently active.  Please go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to determine whether your household qualifies.

Do I receive the funds directly each month?

No, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount on internet service of up to $50 per eligible household. Once you qualify and enroll in the program with Ritter Communications, you will receive a discount on eligible services on your monthly bill. This program is temporary in nature. At the conclusion of the benefit, you will be subject to Ritter Communications general rates, terms, and conditions if you continue to subscribe to Ritter Communications broadband service.

How does the $100 device benefit work?

Ritter Communications does not sell computer equipment and is not participating in the one-time discount program on laptops, desktop computers or any other device.

How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit program last?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first. Ritter Communications will notify you in advance once a program end date has been announced by the FCC.

Can I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I have a past due balance with Ritter Communications? 

Yes, eligible consumers with a past due balance or a balance in collections are eligible for the benefit.

  • As long as you meet one or more of the eligibility requirements for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you’re still able to receive the benefit even if your account is past due.
  • On a similar note, Ritter Communications cannot require you to wait for a period of time if you’ve used our service before.

Do I need to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program with a social security number?

You can choose to not apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program with the last four digits of your social security number and instead can provide the following forms of ID:

  • Government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) documentation

Can I sign up for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if I am already a customer or if I was a customer in the past?  

Yes, the benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing Ritter Communications customers.

Can my roommate and I each get a monthly discount?  

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount per household, which is defined as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses. Only one benefit may be applied to a single Ritter Communications account.

What is Lifeline and how do I qualify?  

Lifeline is the FCC’s program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, or certain Tribal Programs. You can see if you are eligible by reviewing the information available at lifelinesupport.org (click "Do I Qualify?").

If I already receive Lifeline benefits from Ritter Communications, will I automatically receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit?  

No. You must opt-in or request enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program with Ritter Communications and choose an eligible service plan.

Can I receive both the Emergency Broadband Benefit and Lifeline benefits at the same time?

Yes. You can also combine these benefits with other state and local benefits where available. They can be applied to the same qualifying service or separately to a Lifeline service and an Emergency Broadband Benefit service with the same or different providers. For example, an eligible household could have a Lifeline-supported mobile phone service and a separate home broadband service that is supported through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Everyone at my child’s school receives breakfast and lunch at no cost. Do we qualify?  

Yes. Households with a student enrolled in a school or school district where every student receives this benefit are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Will I be able to use the service if I have a disability?   

The services will be accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. If you have any concerns about whether your services are accessible, contact the FCC's Disability Rights office at 202-418-2517 for a voice phone call, at 844-432-2275 by videophone, or by email at DRO@fcc.gov.

How much does broadband service cost?   

The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a monthly discount for broadband service up to $50 per eligible household. The discount will be applied to your broadband service, but the ultimate cost to you will depend on the eligible Ritter Communications plan you select.

Does the monthly discount cover the cost of installation fees?

No. The monthly discount only applies to the eligible monthly, fee-based services.

Can I upgrade my current plan to take advantage of the full $50 per month?

You may be able to do so. Contact us at 888-336-4466 to discuss the plans that are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

If the service plan I pick is $40 per month, do I get the extra money?  

No. Ritter Communications is only reimbursed by USAC, for the cost of the plan up to $50 per eligible household.

If the plan I pick is more than the monthly discount for broadband service, do I pay the extra myself?  

Yes. You are responsible for any amount over $50 per month for eligible services covered under the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

I currently subscribe to a bundle of services that includes internet, TV and phone. Can I apply the Emergency Broadband Benefit to my monthly bill?  

The Emergency Broadband Benefit can be applied to the cost of a bundle of services that include broadband, voice and/or associated equipment. If your bundle also includes a TV service, you will be responsible for that portion of your bill, as well as any services that are above the monthly discount.

Can part of the monthly discount cover my Wi-Fi or 24/7 Support Fee?  

Yes, the monthly discount will cover your fees to access Ritter Communications WiFi Access Charge and 24/7 Support Fee.

Can I enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program If I am enrolled in Student Connect?

If you enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, your participation in Student Connect will be discontinued. Upon future exit from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you may reapply for Student Connect at that time.

How will I know the Emergency Broadband Benefit program is ending?

Ritter Communications will give you notice about the last date or billing cycle that the full benefit will apply to your bill and the date or billing cycle that a partial benefit will apply to your bill, in addition to information about the cost of your broadband service after the program ends.

What if the program funding runs out during my monthly billing cycle?

The end of the program may not be timed to your billing cycle for service. This may result in you receiving less than the full monthly service discount in the final month of the program. In the event that you might receive a partial benefit in the last month of the program, Ritter Communications must receive your permission before we can charge you an amount higher than what you would pay if the full Emergency Broadband Benefit is applied to your internet bill. In other words, if you were receiving a $50 discount off of your internet bill, but based on the available funds in the program, there is only enough to provide you with a $40 discount, we must have your permission to charge you the additional $10.   

Can I continue to receive internet service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ends?

Households will need to opt-in or request to continue services with Ritter Communications at the conclusion of the EBB Program. If you don’t opt-in or select a new service plan with Ritter Communications, your services will be disconnected once the program ends. Even if you had service with us before enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit, you will need to opt-in to continue services after the program ends.

Will I be charged for service when the Emergency Broadband Benefit program ends?

Yes, if you agree to continue receiving service(s) from Ritter Communications at the conclusion of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you will be subject to Ritter Communications generally applicable rates, terms, and conditions at that time.

 

**Portions of these Frequently Asked Questions were created by using the FAQs provided by the FCC. For additional information you may visit FCC.gov or GetEmergencyBroadband.org**