Mass Internet Connect

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Program Overview

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) launched Mass Internet Connect (MIC) through a partnership with the MassHire Department of Career Services, and the MassHire Workforce Development System. Mass Internet Connect is a component of the Baker-Polito Administration’s comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan and was officially launched on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021.

Unemployed Massachusetts residents with technology barriers that are working with MassHire and are actively seeking a job are being connected with the tools, services, and internet connections necessary to “get people back to work”.  MassHire operates 29 one-stop career centers and is committed to increasing meaningful career opportunities for job seekers and expanding the talent pool for businesses seeking trained, skilled employees. If you believe you may be eligible for the MIC program or would like to learn more about the program, please contact your nearest MassHire Career Center.

 

Chromebook Device Subsidy Program

The MIC program has been extended through June 30, 2022 for unemployed job seekers that satisfy program requirements:

  • Devices and Digital Literacy Tools and Resources:

  • MassHire customers that lack access to a computer will be supported through the Chromebook Device Subsidy Program.  (download program brochure)

  • MassHire customers that need access to digital literacy tools and resources will be connected by MassHire to those resources.

  • Internet Subsidies:

    • MassHire customers enrolled in the MIC program as of May 31, 2021 will continue to receive internet subsidies funded by MBI for service with Comcast, Charter, or Verizon.

    • MassHIre customers enrolled in the MIC program after June 1, 2021 have been referred to the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) internet subsidy program. A new federal program has been created to replace the EBB.

      • ​Households that meet the federal program requirements for the EBB have been able to apply for and receive a monthly federal subsidy for internet service from a participating internet service provider. 

      • With the passage of the Infrastructure Bill by Congress, the EBB has been replaced by a new federal subsidy program known as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). 

      • The last day to enroll in the EBB is December 30, 2021. 

      • Starting on December 31, 2021, households that meet the federal program requirements will be able to enroll in the ACP to receive a federal internet subsidy.  Congress has lowered the maximum monthly amount of the federal subsidy from $50 for the EBB Program to $30 for the ACP. Households residing on tribal lands and in “high cost areas” as designated by the federal government are eligible for a higher subsidy amount. 

      • Households enrolled in the EBB Program will have a sixty day period to transition to the ACP and continue to receive a federal internet service subsidy. The sixty day transition period runs from December 31, 2021 through March 1, 2022. During the transition period individuals will continue to receive the $50 per month EBB subsidy.

    • MassHire referrals for the federal monthly internet subsidy will transition from the EBB to the new ACP at the end of December 2021.

FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program

Until December 30, 2021, MassHire customers that are struggling to afford internet service (and were not enrolled in the MIC program as of May 31, 2021) will be referred to the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program:Emergency Broadband Benefit logo (click to access)

  • The EBB is a temporary program launched by the FCC to help households during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Click to download the program brochure.

  • Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

  • A household is eligible for the EBB program if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below: Emergency Broadband Benefit Flyer (download)

    • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of that size;

    • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit or the FCC’s Lifeline program;

    • 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 through 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.

Eligible households can enroll for the EBB through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application. 

Note: 

*For eligible unemployed job seekers who are not eligible to participate in the EBB, MassHire will provide access to Verizon jetpack and data plan through June 30, 2022. Unemployed job seekers must show proof that they applied and were denied benefits under the EBB. Please contact your MassHire Career Center for further information. 

FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Beginning December 31, 2021, MassHire customers that are encountering difficulties affording internet service (and were not previously enrolled in the MIC program), will be referred to the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP):

  • The ACP is long-term program, created by Congress to replace the temporary EBB program, to make access to broadband services is more affordable for everyday needs including work, school and healthcare.

  • The program will provide a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.  

  • Households will be eligible for the ACP if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

    • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of that size; 

    • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, or the FCC’s Lifeline program;

    • Is in the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;

    • Has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

    • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income program (subject to approval by the FCC); or

    • Receives assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

  • Households participating in the EBB will need to reverify their eligibility by March 1, 2022, if they previously qualified for EBB benefits because a member of the household met one of the criteria below:

    • Experienced a substantial loss of income through 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 COVID-19 program.

More information will be made available about the ACP program and transitioning from the EBB as it becomes available from the Federal Communications Commission.

Note:

* For eligible unemployed job seekers who are not eligible to participate in the ACP program, MassHire will provide access to a Verizon jetpack and data plan through June 30, 2022. Unemployed job seekers must show proof that they applied and were denied benefits under the ACP Program. Please contact your MassHire Career Center for further information.