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Redzone Wireless Certified to Provide Free Broadband to Support Struggling Maine Households as Part of New FCC Benefit Program
$3.2B Federal Emergency Broadband Benefits to Address Digital Equity & Inclusion are Expected to Begin in April
Rockland, Maine, April 8, 2021 -- Redzone Wireless, LLC, Maine’s leading provider of fixed wireless broadband services announced today that it received certification to participate in the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to help struggling Maine residential customers who are having difficulty paying for Internet service during the pandemic.
Through it’s recent approval by the FCC, Redzone will be able to qualify and serve residential customers based in Maine on Day 1 of the program. Redzone will provide fully subsidized broadband service free of charge to eligible Maine households and households on tribal lands during the program period.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to formally establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal effort to provide discounts on internet service to many low-income households. The program was created by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was passed at the end of last year.
The EBB program was designed "to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those struggling to get the connectivity they need during the ongoing pandemic," the acting FCC chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said in a statement. "It’s a challenge that is all too real for too many families."
"Many families and independent small businesses in Maine have been hit hard by the pandemic, and this program will help struggling Mainers establish or maintain online access to remote education, job searches, remote employment, local and federal resource programs, and telehealth services," said Jim McKenna, Redzone's President and CEO. "It also enables children to continue learning remotely by supporting content streaming which has become crucial in the remote school environment. In these difficult economic times, Internet connectivity has become essential to support families’ economic, developmental, social and emotional well-being. This program aligns perfectly with Redzone’s commitment to digital inclusion by making True broadband affordable and accessible for all Maine families."
A household is considered eligible to receive free broadband under this program if one member of the household:
Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 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.
The FCC has not provided an official start date for the program, but is expected to launch during the month of April. https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-program.
Maine families interested in eligibility and program details for immediate broadband service, please visit www.redzonewireless.com/EBB.
About Redzone Wireless, LLC
Redzone Wireless, LLC has deployed, and is actively expanding an FCC licensed 4G LTE and 5G fixed wireless broadband network to deliver affordable access across Maine. The company’s advanced network maximizes coverage and capacity by extending the reach of regional fiber optic networks to large geographic areas. Redzone’s fixed wireless network provides a rapidly deployable, economically viable, and sustainable premium broadband Internet service alternative or complement to DSL, fiber, or cable.
To learn more about Redzone Wireless, visit www.redzonewireless.com.