This is the transcript for Episode 454 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. On this episode, Christopher is joined by Travis Carter (CEO of USI Fiber), Angela Siefer (executive director of National Digital Inclusion Alliance) and Olivia Wein (attorney with the National Consumer Law Center) to talk about how the Emergency Broadband Benefit will work and what their expectations are. They discuss who will be able to take advantage of the program and try to predict some of the challenges for the people who need it and the small ISPs that would like to participate. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.
Travis Carter: In all the years I've been doing this, this is the very first that I've ever seen that I think really has a chance to make a difference. So whoever came up with this, kudos.
Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 454 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. One component of the recently passed consolidated appropriations act of 2021 was the Emergency Broadband Benefit; a $3.2 billion program designed to get families connected to available service that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The program provides a subsidy of up to $50 a month or 75 on tribal lands for broadband service, as well as up to $100 for a device with a household contribution for as long as the money lasts.
Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Christopher is joined by Travis Carter, USI fiber, Angela Siefer from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Olivia Wein from the National Consumer Law Center to talk about how the Emergency Broadband Benefit will work and what their expectations are. They discuss who will be able to take advantage of the program and try to predict some of the challenges we might see both for the people who need it and the small ISPs that would like to participate. Finally, the group weighs in with how providers can forge partnerships with groups like PCs for People to get hardware into homes, the need for digital navigators to help community members navigate the process of getting and staying...Read more