We asked folks across the industry how long they thought the Emergency Broadband Benefit program’s funding will last. Here’s what they had to say.
Kelley Drye & Warren
“Based on conversations with EBB providers, I think this is a fairly short duration program of about six months. That said, there are a lot of variables, including the FCC’s implementation of the device subsidy which has caused an already small pool of participating providers to raise red flags. More importantly, the prospect of a second round of funding could extend the EBB program well into 2022.“
SVP, Government Affairs
“About 6-7 months. Roughly 9 million households participate in Lifeline. If a similar number participate in this program, and each receive a $50 subsidy, that’s $450 million per month. The more generous subsidy could attract more participants, but not all households will enroll immediately or select offerings
that provide full $50 subsidies. The ‘X-Factor’ is the $100 connected device subsidy; if it’s popular, that could shave off about a month.“
“Judging by the challenges operators have seen driving penetration of Essentials plans, it may take some time to ramp up a program like this. But, truth be told, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t become a permanent entitlement program, even if at meaningfully lower level of annual spending. The best analogy is the Lifeline program for wireless, which was started as a temporary program… during the Reagan Administration.“