About 80% of families who qualify for help paying for internet bills have not applied, according to the FCC. The “Emergency Broadband Benefits” launched this past spring, offering families and individuals affected by COVID-19 help accessing the internet. According to MediaJustice, more than 19 million families that qualify are still not enrolled. Brandon Forester, National Organizer for Internet Rights and Platform Accountability explains in Alabama News.
“The internet, post COVID-19, and I know we’re still in the pandemic, the internet in some ways, is the most important kind of utility we have in our lives. It’s for families trying to do work, it’s for families trying to go to eviction hearings to make sure they can stay in housing. It’s for telehealth so they can get access to health care needs without putting themselves and their families at risk. There was a study last year that over 3 million students just disappeared from the schools’ rosters. That wasn’t 3 million students who couldn’t attend classes, that was 3 million students schools just have no idea what happened to.”