Time running out for Santa Cruz County residents to apply for help paying for broadband

There’s a Dec. 31 deadline to apply for a federal program that gives eligible households $50 per month toward high-speed internet access, one that’s complemented by a local effort to mitigate inequality and deliver reliable service to underserved areas.

With 2022 just weeks away, many families are still feeling the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to a modern necessity: reliable internet. One federal program could provide relief for Santa Cruz County residents — and all they need to do is apply by Dec. 31.

Operated by the Federal Communications Commission, the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is an opportunity for families and households to apply for financial assistance. Eligible households can receive up to $50 per month toward broadband services, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers.

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