Heartland Forward and the League of United Latin American Citizens announced Wednesday a new partnership to lead on-the-ground advocacy and enrollment efforts to help connect Latino households to affordable internet through the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
Heartland Forward has provided a $50,000 grant to LULAC as part of this partnership. Heartland Forward will also distribute outreach materials and co-host a live, informational webinar for local councils nationwide. FCC staff to walk them through EBB eligibility requirements and enrollment processes during the webinar.
LULAC CEO Sindy Benavides said in a news release that nearly one in three Latino families don’t have at-home internet service.
Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president, added, "This pandemic has exposed the historical inequity in America as many of our children struggle to keep up with their studies with little or no affordable access to the internet.
“Broadband access is no longer a luxury but a necessity in every home for millions of Latinos across the United States and Puerto Rico. LULAC sees this initiative as an important step in providing a pathway to knowledge and opportunity that will pay enormous dividends to our nation."
The EBB program utilizes federal COVID-19 relief funding to provide eligible households discounts of up to $50 a month on home internet service. The program also offers a $100 discount toward the purchase of a laptop, computer or tablet from a participating provider.
As of Oct. 24, more than $2.2 billion of the program’s $3.2 billion was still available.
Those eligible for the EBB program and do not have access to the internet can sign up through a participating broadband provider or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week to request a mail-in application and more information.
Those who do have internet access can apply here and get more information here.